Written evidence submitted by Sarah Ives (Luxury Travel Sales Consultant at Mrs)
In 2017 I went back to work after having two children (at the time 4 and 9 mos), I was building up my career and was a PAYE employee from Oct 2017 – October 2019. In November 2019 I went self-employed working for one main client but hoping to build my business and take on new clients as time progressed. My work was in travel, luxury travel and I worked as a sales consultant for a wide range of hotels and travel partners. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 pandemic, my main client was unable to pay my full fee from 1st April. My work was reduced to a quarter of what it had been and from the 30th April, I was no longer needed. Unfortunately, I fell between all of the gaps and was unable to access any form of relief, including JRS, SEISS, Universal Credit or Job Seekers Allowance. I was unable even to apply for the 30 hours childcare which was suggested by my youngest daughter’s nursery. I can’t understand why historic PAYE or indeed the ability to submit an early Self Assesment would not assure the HMRC that I was not applying fraudulently. My bank statements clearly show that from a salary of approx. £2,000 per month (gross), dropped to £500 month in April, and has since consisted of £100/month from a different client. I have applied to many jobs online, but have not had any feedback and of course, going back to work in travel in this climate will be very difficult. I feel that a bridge to allow people like me (and so many others) to survive this crisis, to do what we were told to do; stay home, homeschool our children, stay aware and help save lives.