I’m a PAYE employee, what support am I entitled to?
The Government offers support to employees affected by the Coronavirus in three ways: SSP (Sick Pay), Coronavirus Job Retention (80% salary for furloughed employees) and Universal Credit.
I need to self-isolate, what support am I entitled to?
If you have to self-isolate because you, or someone in your household, have symptoms of Coronavirus, then you are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay from Day 1 of taking sick leave.
All PAYE employees are entitled to this, and your employer will pay this to you directly as part of your regular paycheck. The Government will reimburse employers for 14 days of SSP per employee.
SSP is worth £94.25 per week. Darren and the Labour party have asked for the Government to increase this amount to truly reflect living costs.
You don’t need a sick note from a GP for this. If your employer asks for one, you can get a sick note online through the NHS 111 service here.
You can find further information about the how SSP works here.
What is the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme?
If the organisation that employs you is going through financial distress, they may furlough you and receive Government help to pay your salary. Furloughing is when you are put on an extended leave of absence instead of being fired or made redundant. You can’t work for your employer during this time, but you can volunteer to help with the Coronavirus response. You don’t need to have coronavirus symptoms to qualify for this scheme.
If you are furloughed, you still receive your salary and the Government will help your employer pay for that. Basically, the government will give your employer 80% of your salary (up to £2500 per month) backdated to the start of March so that your organisation can keep you employed but not working.
Organisations are strongly urged to furlough their employees instead of firing or making them redundant.
You can find more information about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme here.
Am I eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme?
If you have been an employee for your organisation since February 2019 or before, you are covered by this scheme. If you were made redundant after February 27th, your employer can hire you back and then furlough you so that 80% of your salary is covered by the Government.
You are eligible for this scheme if you are a:
- Full-time employee
- part-time employee
- Agency contract employee
- Zero-hour contract or flexible hour employee
If you think you are eligible for this scheme, but your employer says that you are not please show them the Government guidance or get in touch with me via email at Darren.email@example.com
What support will I get if I lose my job during the Coronavirus? If you have been fired, made redundant or seen your hours reduced you can apply for Universal Credit. The entry requirements and checks for Universal Credit have been relaxed because of the Coronavirus pandemic. You won’t need to go to a jobcentre or prove that you are searching for work.
If you have lost your job after February 28th, please contact your employer. They will be able to hire you back and then place you in the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. The waiting period to receive Universal Credit is still 5 weeks, but once you apply you can request an Advance Payment to help tide you over.
I have or care for, school-aged children. What should I do?
Children are thought to be the least at-risk group from COVID-19. Although current scientfic thinking indicates that children may be capable of spreading the virus.
All schools and further education providers have closed until further notice. Exams have been suspended for this year, as have school performance tables. If your child receives Free School Meals, your school will continue to provide this service.
If you are worker involved in frontline Coronavirus support (Government list here), your children can still go to school if necessary.
If you have children who require additional support, including those with a social worker or an educational health and care plan, your children can still go to school.
You can call the Department for Education’s COVID-19 helpline for further guidance on 0800 046 8687, however, this helpline is likely to be very busy. Your child’s school should also be regularly getting updates from the Government and it may be quicker to get in touch with the school directly for guidance