Your web browser is outdated and may be insecure

The RCN recommends using an updated browser such as Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome

Are you an agency worker or self employed?

Financial Wellbeing

If you work for an agency, are employed by your own limited company, or are self-employed, then you may be entitled to welfare benefits and other support.

Are you self-employed or working through agencies?

You might have entitlements to welfare benefits and other support if you work for an agency, you’re employed by your own limited company, or you’re self-employed.

Support for workers employed by agencies or an umbrella company

If you work for an agency or an umbrella company you have the right to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) when you can’t work due to ill health, providing you meet the qualifying criteria.

If you provide a fit note your employer must give a valid reason in writing if they believe you do not qualify for SSP. If you think they have made the wrong decision you can contact the Statutory Payments Dispute Team.

Agency employees may also qualify for: 

Households with low or no income may also qualify for Council Tax Support.

Support for self-employed workers

If you are a self-employed worker, you may be eligible for New Style Employment and Support Allowance if you have:

  • paid regular National Insurance in the past two tax years and
  • are currently unable to work due to ill health

You can apply for Universal Credit while you or your partner are self-employed. Universal Credit is a means-tested benefit for adults under State Pension age. The amount depends on your household income as well as other details about your household. You don’t have to stop working to claim Universal Credit, but self-employed claimants have to show Universal Credit certain things as part of the claim process, which you can see here. If you claim other benefits or tax credits already, these may be affected if you claim Universal Credit. Speak to an adviser at the RCN Lamplight Support Service if you’re unsure whether to apply for Universal Credit.

If you’re self-employed, and have already reached State Pension age, there are other benefits available such as Housing Benefit and Pension Credit

If your income has stopped and you have a low level of savings, you may also qualify for Council Tax Reduction from your local council. This benefit is also sometimes called Council Tax Support. Check your council’s website to find the application form.