Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a series of emergency measures in the fight against coronavirus, including a huge bailout to cover the wages of millions of workers.
The Chancellor said the government will cover 80% of salaries – up to £2,500 per month – with all employers able to apply to HMRC to pay the wages of people who are furloughed.
What is furlough?
Formally a furlough means a granted leave of absence. In this instance it has been advised to employers who want to still employ staff currently unable to work.
Furlough is this position where if you can’t work, you have a job but your job is on hold – let’s imagine hospitality industry as it is easy. If you are PAYE for a contracted employer, the company can say we’ll put you on furlough and the state will pay 80 percent of your salary up to a maximum of £2,500.
You are not working during this time, but you are still kept on the company’s payroll, ready to restart your normal position after the crisis passes.
Meanwhile, the Government covers up to 80% off your monthly salary.
Please note that, as per your LPF contracts, you have already agreed to a lay off clause which reads that, in case the company does not have enough work for you and such does not afford to pay you, you can be laid off without pay.
As such, the scheme organized by the Government should only help you, as it still awards you 80% of your salary.
In our cases, you shall not be undertaking work while on furlough, however you shall still be assigned NVQ project, as your apprenticeship part is going ahead and you shall complete and receive your qualification as initially scheduled.
For any further information, please address your questions to : email@example.com.
Alternative benefits options during the Coronavirus crisis:
If you’re in work and not claiming benefits
If you cannot work due to coronavirus and are eligible for Statutory Sick Pay you will get it from day one, rather than from the fourth day of your illness. DWP intends to legislate so this measure applies retrospectively from 13 March 2020.
Statutory Sick Pay will be payable if you have coronavirus or are self-isolating on government advice.
If you are a gig worker and/or on a zero hours contract, you may be entitled to sick pay. Check your eligibility for Statutory Sick Pay
If you need to provide evidence to your employer that you need to stay at home due to having symptoms of coronavirus an Isolation Note can be obtained from NHS 111 online. If you live with someone that has symptoms, an Isolation Note can be obtained from the NHS website.
If you are not eligible to receive sick pay you can apply for Universal Credit and/or apply for New Style Employment and Support Allowance
You can also apply for these if you are prevented from working because of a risk to public health.
If you’re already claiming benefits
Changes to jobcentre appointments
People receiving benefits do not have to attend jobcentre appointments for three months, starting from Thursday 19 March 2020.
People will continue to receive their benefits as normal, but all requirements to attend the jobcentre in person are suspended.
You should not attend the jobcentre unless directed to do so for an exceptional purpose.
People can still make applications for benefits online if they are eligible.
If you apply for Universal Credit you will need to make an appointment for your new claim interview. This interview will take place by telephone with a work coach. You will be given the number to call to book this appointment when you have submitted your claim.
If you’re already claiming Universal Credit and think you may have been affected by coronavirus, please contact your work coach as soon as possible. You can do this using your online journal
Changes to health assessments
In light of the current coronavirus outbreak, the Department for Work and Pensions has taken the precautionary decision to temporarily suspend all face-to-face assessments for health and disability-related benefits. This is aimed at reducing the risk of exposure to coronavirus and safeguarding the health of individuals claiming health and disability benefits, many of whom are likely to be at greater risk due to their pre-existing health conditions.
If you already have an assessment appointment arranged, you do not need to attend. Your assessment provider will contact you to discuss your appointment and explain the next steps to you.
If you have made a claim for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Universal Credit or Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) but do not have a date for an assessment appointment, you do not need to do anything. You will be contacted shortly by telephone or letter to let you know what will happen next.
If you are already receiving PIP, ESA, Universal Credit or IIDB you will continue to receive your current payments as normal.
If you have made a new claim or wish to make a new claim, DWP will continue to take claims for all benefits.
Read the current NHS guidelines on coronavirus, including advice on those who should stay at home.
Changes to how much you’ll get
From 6 April the government is increasing the standard allowance in Universal Credit and the basic element in Working Tax Credit for one year. Both will increase by £20 per week on top of planned annual uprating. This will apply to all new and existing Universal Credit claimants and to existing Working Tax Credit claimants.
This means that for a single Universal Credit claimant (aged 25 or over), the standard allowance will increase from £317.82 to £409.89 per month.
From April, Local Housing Allowance rates will be increased to the 30th percentile of market rents. This will apply to all private renters who are new or existing Universal Credit housing element claimants, and to existing Housing Benefit claimants.
If you’re making a new claim
Don’t delay making a benefit claim, even if you think you may be affected by coronavirus.
You can apply for Universal Credit online. If you are eligible you will need to make an appointment for your new claim interview. This interview will take place by telephone with a work coach. You will be given the number to call to book this appointment when you have submitted your claim.
Universal Credit users are experiencing extended waiting times for GOV.UK Verify. We appreciate how frustrating this is and we are working to improve the situation as quickly as possible.
If you need to claim Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) because of coronavirus, you will not be required to produce a Fit Note.
If you are affected by coronavirus you will be able to apply for Universal Credit and can receive up to a month’s advance upfront without physically attending a jobcentre.
If you are suffering from coronavirus or are required to stay at home and want to apply for ESA, the usual 7 waiting days for new claimants will not apply. ESA will be payable from day one.
For more information about any aspect of Universal Credit, including how to make a claim, visit the homepage or use the links at the top of this page.
If you have been working within the last 2 to 3 years and have paid and/or been credited with enough National Insurance contributions, you may be able to claim New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
New Style JSA can be claimed on its own or at the same time as Universal Credit. Your savings and capital (or your partner’s savings, capital and income) are not taken into account when claiming New Style JSA.
If you are self-employed and are making a new application for Universal Credit, you will not need to attend the jobcentre to demonstrate gainful self-employment.
Apply for Universal Credit
Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)