Directors are ‘falling through the cracks’ of COVID support

Liverpool social enterprise, The Women’s Organisation, is working with civil servants to resolve the issue of company directors who are ineligible for coronavirus support schemes

Helen Millne
Helen Millne, deputy chief executive of The Women’s Organisation


Directors in limited companies are “falling through the cracks” in the Government’s coronavirus support packages, putting their companies and millions of jobs at risk.

Liverpool social enterprise, The Women’s Organisation, is working with civil servants to resolve the issue and is urging the Government to reconsider and plug the gaps in its COVID-19 financial support package to better protect company directors.

The Women’s Organisation is warning that there are thousands of businesses, and therefore jobs, at risk because these owner/ directors have no access to an appropriate packet of financial support which would facilitate business sustainability. 

READ MORE: Cash lifeline for micro businesses in Liverpool

It is drawing attention to the plight of directors who are not self-employed and are paid through their company on minimum salary, receiving the majority of their income through annual dividends.

Many directors have paid tax both through PAYE on their low-level earnings and through self-assessment for the Dividends they have received from the companies’ profits.

The organisation, which successfully lobbied for extra support for micro-businesses, says that the current Government schemes intended to support businesses to survive the pandemic and be ready to thrive once the lockdown is loosened are not providing lifeline resources to this group in the way that is needed.

Helen Millne, deputy chief executive of The Women’s Organisation, said: “Limited companies provide valuable products and services to their communities, generating significant income and employment to the UK economy.

“Company directors deserve not only to be properly protected financially in this crisis, but also to have their contribution to our economy properly recognised. As it stands, a very large proportion of 2m directors are now left with no income, no support, and perhaps no business to return to.

“What is more, over 55% of these directors employ staff meaning that the subsequent number of jobs at risk from these businesses failing is incredibly significant.

“We are hopeful that Government ministers and the treasury will be looking to develop a timely and effective support package which better reflects the contribution of this group to our economy and properly protects the income of thousands up and down the country.”

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