British racing welcomes support for self-employed workers

26 Mar 2020 BHA Features Financial/Political Welfare

British racing’s leaders have welcomed the announcement by Chancellor Rishi Sunak regarding the support package which will be offered to many self-employed workers.

The Chancellor has announced a new self-employed income support scheme whereby the government will play a taxable grant of 80% of many self-employed individual’s profits up to £2,500 a month from the beginning of June. The payment will be calculated using average monthly profits over the last three financial years. This is similar to the support provided by Government to “furloughed” employees.

Self-employed individuals working in the racing industry include jockeys, valets, agents, horsebox drivers, veterinarians, media and broadcasters, racing photographers and other essential service providers.

Nick Rust, Chief Executive of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), said:

“Self-employed people form an integral part of the racing industry and we welcome the proposed package of support. Racing will now liaise with Government to gain an understanding of the full details of the proposals, including what support is available to self-employed people prior to June. In addition, the information will be used to help determine where racing’s own funds will be best allocated to support its workforce.”

Paul Struthers, Chief Executive of the Professional Jockeys Association (PJA), said:

“We very much welcome this package of support which will help jockeys, valets and trainers, as well as other core segments of the industry’s workforce, navigate an extremely challenging period. This news comes not a day too soon as there has been significant uncertainty and concern amongst our members and I am sure this has been shared by the many other self-employed individuals in the racing industry.

“While the package is welcomed, there will remain an acute, short-term need.  We will now focus our efforts on continuing to work with other racing stakeholders – and utilising our own available funds and support from the IJF – to provide this short term assistance that will be required.”

The industry’s leaders are close to finalising the sport’s wide-ranging submission to Government which outlines the impact of the shutdown on racing and proposes areas for potential help, as well as the sport’s operational plan.