ExcludedUK is a grassroots volunteer-run not-for-profit organisation working towards bringing about an end to the exclusions in the UK Government’s Covid-19 financial support measures across all employment statuses, circumstances, professions and industries. These exclusions have led to significant disparities within the support offered, resulting in unfairness, injustice, discrimination and severe hardship for those affected.
ExcludedUK was established on the founding principles of inclusivity, collaboration, resilience, empowerment, transparency and integrity. As such, these principles lie at the heart of our vision and strategy. ExcludedUK was registered as a Community Interest Company on 30 May 2020, with the clear purpose of working for community benefit at large as a longer-term sustainable organisation. We chose to set up as a CIC, aware that the Government may not be willing to provide a quick and easy fix for those excluded from support, despite all our calls for urgency. Therefore, we were all too aware that there may well be work to do in the longer term, not least to offer ongoing guidance to those who have thus far gone several months without meaningful support and on little to no incomes. We wished to have a legal status and to put in place good governance, while remaining a not-for-profit organisation.
Covid-19 and the ensuing lockdown presented the most unforeseen challenges to many individuals and businesses across the UK. While government support packages have provided much needed support for many, there remain some 3 million taxpayers – 10% of the UK workforce, who find themselves excluded from meaningful support, leaving large cracks within these measures.
From new starters, those in between jobs or due to start new jobs after 19 March, those denied furlough, the newly self-employed and new businesses, those earning less than 50% of their income from self-employment, +£50k trading profits, those on maternity, parental or adoption leave, those on PAYE freelance short-term contracts, small limited company owner-directors and businesses ineligible for grants, and a whole range of personal circumstances affecting eligibility through no fault of their own… The list goes on. Livelihoods are at stake, businesses risk folding or may have folded already. Many individuals have been on extremely low to no income since March.
As an organisation, we aim to play a crucial role in facilitating support and assistance on multiple levels, both for now and into the future. The wider effects of the pandemic may be far-reaching and long-lasting and we intend to continue our efforts to provide ongoing broader help and support.
Our key objectives are to raise awareness by engaging with national and local press and media, lobbying for support and communicating the concerns of those excluded and wider messaging around the issues they face to relevant parliamentary bodies and MPs, while maintaining dialogue with them as well as with industry bodies. ExcludedUK equally exists to offer wider support – signposting towards resources on mental health, counselling and well-being, business guidance and networking, debt advice, upskilling and training, as well as fundraising in order to seek to provide such support. Most importantly, our hope is that our efforts can help propel affected individuals and businesses forward in the face of adversity resulting from Covid-19 and being excluded from government support, while equally working together in seeking to help each other emerge from this crisis.