Financial help and resilience: a further guide

Employers and employees to be helped to weather the crisis – but some clarity still needed and perhaps lessons to be learned.

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There is a fair bit of information out there about the benefits and packages available:

Financial help and resilience: a guide

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With more here, for both employers and employees:

Coronavirus: How to apply for government business support | bbc.co.uk

Coronavirus: What loans, grants and other government support are available for UK businesses? | independent.co.uk

Universal Credit emergency loans: How to get extra cash to help amid coronavirus pandemic | express.co.uk

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However, it’s going to be very difficult to get the standard benefits:

UNIVERSAL HELL: Universal Credit phone lines jammed with laid off workers waiting hours to get through | thesun.co.uk

Almost 500,000 people in UK apply for universal credit in nine days | theguardian.com

The middle class are about to discover the cruelty of Britain’s benefits system | theguardian.com

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And who will get what is still unclear:

UK’s self-employed face anxious wait for chancellor’s lifeline | ft.com

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Here’s a helpful piece from today’s Sidmouth Nub News:

‘Furloughed workers’ explained – East Devon HR | sidmouth.nub.news

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This is from today’s Guardian:

Coronavirus benefits, sick pay and lost hours: your rights in the UK

I’m on a zero-hours contract and have been sent home

The pledge to meet 80% of wages applies to everyone who is on PAYE – that is, taxed before they are paid.

It is not clear what figure the 80% will be based on. The chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has said that it will probably involve some kind of smoothing of earnings – that is to say it could be based on an average of recent weeks’ pay so you are not out of pocket if your last week’s wages were much lower than the previous week’s.

Coronavirus benefits, sick pay and lost hours: your rights in the UK | theguardian.com

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And from today’s i-newspaper:

What are furloughed workers? Meaning of ‘furlough’, and how UK coronavirus measures for employees work

Furloughed workers are those whose employers cannot cover staff costs due to coronavirus, and as such they have been asked to stop working, but have not been made redundant. Such employers are now able to access support to continue paying part of their staff’s wages, to avoid redundancies.

How does the scheme work?

If your employer intends to access the job retention scheme, they should discuss with you becoming classified as a furloughed worker. This would mean that you are being kept on your employer’s payroll, rather than being laid off. To qualify for this scheme, you should not undertake work for your employer while you are furloughed, according to gov.uk. By doing so, this allows your employer to claim a grant of up to 80% of your wage for all employment costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

What should employers do to access the scheme?

To access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, employers will need to take the following steps:

– Designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers,’ and notify your employees of this change – changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation

What are furloughed workers? Meaning of ‘furlough’, and how UK coronavirus measures for employees work | independent.co.uk

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Today’s FT shows that things are rather fuzzy, though:

But with the Treasury dreaming up the scheme to help furloughed employees in little over two days last week and the mechanics unlikely to be operational until late April, questions have been mounting over how generous the package is and how it will work in practice.

Coronavirus: what employers need to know about Sunak’s worker rescue plan | ft.com

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Finally, something from gov.uk, updated late yesterday:

COVID-19: guidance for employees | gov.uk

   
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