The UK Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, today announced a fairer deal for self-employed and freelance workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation, which forms part of the Coronavirus Bill, ensures the Government makes provision for over five million self-employed and freelance workers of the UK, bringing their emergency pay in-line with employees.

The Self-employed income support scheme outlines that workers net monthly earnings do not fall below “80 per cent of their monthly net earnings, averaged over the last three years, or £2500 per month, whichever is lower.” This provides welcome relief and certainty to the group exercise workforce.

Sue Wilkie, Head of Instructor Development at EMD UK and a group exercise instructor herself, says “The closure of gyms and studios, although the right decision, has hit our community hard. It is comforting to know the Government are acknowledging the rights and livelihoods of workers at this time and are ensuring everyone has the money they need to survive.”

EMD UK, the national governing body for group exercise, has been working hard with partners such as CIMPSA, the Sport and Recreation Alliance and Sport England to lobby the Government for better support.

Marcus Kingwell, CEO of EMD UK, said “We are delighted that the Government has passed a fairer deal for self-employed and freelance workers in their Coronavirus Bill. As the national governing body for group exercise, we know the positive impact group exercise instructors have in communities across the nation. Through their hard work and passion, the number of group exercise participants rose by one million between 2016 and 2018. Right now, they are keeping spirits high and participants healthy via their online classes. This legislation will help tens of thousands of self-employed instructors to stay in the sector and help the country through this difficult time.”

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