Give financial help to agency and zero hour workers during COVID-19 outbreak.

Put in place an emergency fund for people who work for agencies, are on zero hour contracts, or who are self employed and may not be able to claim Universal Credit should work dry up due due to emergency measures during the outbreak of COVID 19.

21,515 Signatures

Status: Closed
Opened: 16 Mar 2020, 5:11 p.m.
Daily signature rate : 113
Closed: 16 Sep 2020, 11:59 p.m.

Many families may be forced into hardship and debt if the bread winners lose out on work due to school closures or big event cancellations. Whilst some may be eligible for Universal Credit other may not be but still rely on the income to look after their families. Not knowing if they are going to be able to put food on the table is an added stress which may impinge on mental health and the spread of the virus.

Government Response

Agency workers, workers on zero-hour contracts, and the self-employed can get support from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-employment Income Support Scheme, subject to eligibility.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) is open to any individual who was on an employer’s PAYE payroll on 19 March 2020. The scheme covers employees on any type of contract, including full-time, part-time, agency, flexible or zero-hour contracts.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will help firms retain their employees and protect the UK economy. Employers can furlough their employees (put them on a temporary leave of absence) and claim for 80% of furloughed employees’ usual monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month. This will help employers to continue paying part of their employees’ wages if their operations have been severely affected by coronavirus. The scheme will be open initially for at least 3 months and will be extended for longer if necessary.

More information about the CJRS, including the eligibility criteria and how to claim, is available for employers at and for employees at

The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will provide grants to those who are self-employed, including members of partnerships, worth 80% of their trading profits/partnership trading profits, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. Some 95% of people who are mainly self-employed could benefit from this scheme.

The CJRS and the SEISS, along with other support the government has provided in response to the Covid-19 outbreak, will support millions of families, businesses and self-employed people to get through this and emerge on the other side both stronger and more united.

HM Treasury

Top 10 Constituency Signatories to the Petition

Constituency Signatures % of Total Signatures MP Party-Constituency
343 1.60% Claudia Webbe Labour
Leicester East
302 1.42% Paul Bristow Conservative
208 0.97% Liz Kendall Labour
Leicester West
200 0.93% Tom Pursglove Conservative
197 0.92% Colleen Fletcher Labour
Coventry North East
173 0.81% Deidre Brock Scottish National Party
Edinburgh North and Leith
144 0.67% Mr Robin Walker Conservative
142 0.67% Ben Everitt Conservative
Milton Keynes North
137 0.64% Ben Bradley Conservative
135 0.63% Tommy Sheppard Scottish National Party
Edinburgh East
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Top 50 Constituencies by Number of Signatures

5,700 signatures - 26.0% of total

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