How’s your webinar etiquette?

Webinar sign

A side effect of lockdown has been a growing familiarity with online socialising, whether it’s a Zoom pub quiz, a family gathering by WhatsApp video, or a jazz night live from Eastbourne via FaceBook Live.

As a trainer, I’ve also spent many hours running courses online using Zoom and ClickMeeting. And we’ve all been getting used to learning and networking while staring at a screen.

But as with real life, some people need to be reminded that you don’t behave exactly the same way when you’re socialising as you do in a ‘professional’ space. Even if you do both via Zoom.

Among the Zoom faux pas I have seen or heard about:

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Posted on 03 May 2020

What’s it like to furlough yourself?

Limited company freelancer

The government’s voluntary furloughing scheme for employers opened for business on Monday 20 April. Within a day the government reported 140,000 employers had logged on to reclaim money for furloughed staff.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme on gov.uk >

Any employer can apply to furlough employees, and that includes freelancers who run a company and take a salary from it using a PAYE scheme.

Please note: this blog post refers to the scheme as it was launching in May.
Furloughing is no long an option unless an employee was furloughed by 10 June.

You can read about the Job Retention Bonus here >

So how easy is it to apply?

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Posted on 23 April 2020

Ltd Company Freelancers: pathways to support

Limited company freelancer

If you’re worried about your finances and wondering what support may be available to you, this page suggests a number of steps to take.

This page has been updated on 15 July 2020, adding a link to the Job Retention Bonus.

Assess > estimate > investigate

Before investigating any form of support it’s important to first assess your current situation, then estimate for the next few months any income/cash from any source (including savings) and compare that to all anticipated costs.

This will help you quantify the level of support you might need before you go looking for it.

And check out our advice and guidance on our Free Stuff page.

1 – How do you take your income?

Directors of small limited companies typically take income from their company in two ways:

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Posted on 14 April 2020

Sole Trader freelancers: pathways to support

Sole trader

If you’re worried about your finances and wondering what support may be available to you, this page suggests a number of steps to take.

Assess > estimate > investigate

Before investigating any form of support it’s important to first assess your current situation, then estimate for the next few months any income/cash from any source (including savings) and compare that to all anticipated costs.

This will help you quantify the level of support you might need before you go looking for it.

And check out our advice and guidance on our Free Stuff page.

1 – How long have you been a sole trader?

If you are registered as a sole trader, the government calls you ‘self-employed’.

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Posted on 14 April 2020

PAYE Freelancers: pathways to support

PAYE freelancer

If you’re worried about your finances and wondering what support may be available to you, this page suggests a number of steps to take.

Assess > estimate > investigate

Before investigating any form of support it’s important to first assess your current situation, then estimate for the next few months any income/cash from any source (including savings) and compare that to all anticipated costs.

This will help you quantify the level of support you might need before you go looking for it.

And check out our advice and guidance on our Free Stuff page.

1 – Employment status

If you are paid through a payroll system with tax and/or national insurance taken off by the employer, you are treated by the government as an employee.

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Posted on 14 April 2020

Freelancers and the Coronavirus Loan Schemes

The loan schemes are aimed at people who run businesses, where there is a problem with cashflow because of the pandemic.

This technically includes freelancers who are sole traders, in partnerships or run their own limited companies. All are types of business in the UK.

There are two main loan schemes:

  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
  • Bounce Bank Loans for small businesses

Bounce Back Loans are more likely to be taken up by small businesses such as sole traders and limited company freelancers as the amounts are small and the government will stand behind 100% of the loan.

The schemes are meant to operate like this:

  • the government stands behind loans for 80% of the amount (or 100% for Bouce Back Loans), allowing participating banks or financial institutions to pass on favourable interest rates
  • financial institutions offer ‘products’ to customers and negotiate terms for the loan

In practice, there are a number of reasons why loan schemes might not be attractive to freelancers:

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Posted on 13 April 2020

Freelancers and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

PAYE freelancer

If you have been receiving income through payroll systems, under PAYE, the new Job Retention Scheme might help you.

But there are a number of restrictions which means freelancers could miss out.

The scheme is supposed to work in the following way:

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Posted on 13 April 2020

VAT deferral for businesses

If you’re running a VAT registered business of any type, you’ll be aware that the government is allowing you to defer paying any VAT payment that was due between 20 March and 30 June 2020.

Here is a link to the scheme description on gov.uk:

Coronavirus VAT deferral scheme >

I have a couple of thoughts which might be helpful:

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Posted on 28 March 2020

Freelancers and the Self-employed Income Support Scheme

Sole trader

On 26 March 2020 the Chancellor announced his new scheme to help people who are self-employed and have no work or reduced income.

On 29 May he announced a second grant, available from 17 August, modelled on the first, but at a lower rate.

He is helping sole traders only but with strict eligibility criteria:

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Posted on 26 March 2020

What’s it like when you claim Universal Credit

Sole trader Sarah Carless has been freelancing for 25 years. She’s a floor manager, so nothing daunts her!

Listen to her experience of applying for Universal Credit when her work dried up because of coronavirus. (See also the important note below the video.)

Recorded Wednesday 25 March 2020

Of course everyone’s experience will be slightly different, but for creative freelancers this might held you understand the process.

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Posted on 25 March 2020