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Support for employees: COVID-19

Dave Jangid | Online Account Filing

Dave Jangid | May 21, 2020

Support for employees | Online Account Filing

With the major disruption caused due to outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, not only businesses but the employees have been equally adversely been affected. Due to the temporary economic slowdown, there is a constant fear of being sacked looming over their heads too. Here are a few recommendations and support provided by the government in this hour of distress.

Recommendations

  1. Work from home: As employees you should try working from home as long as your job does not require you to travel.
    Furthermore, if you experience any symptoms of coronavirus, even though it`s mild, you should stay at home and should not leave the house for 14 days from when the symptoms started. You can read the guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection issued by the government here.
  2. Practice social distancing at work: If your job requires you to travel then you should strictly follow social distancing rules at the workplace. Click here to read the guidance on social distancing at the workplace issued by the government.

Support

  1. Statutory Sick Pay If the employee is too sick to work, then they are eligible to claim Statutory Sick Pay of £95.85 per week. This is to be paid by the employer for up to 28 weeks. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, there will be an increase in the employees claiming for SSP. Also, given the current distress, the government has relaxed a few bits of this scheme. Click here to read more about it.
  2. Workers on temporary leave: Furloughed workers To prevent laying off employees in times of crisis, the government has come up with a scheme called Job Retention Scheme. Under this scheme, the government will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage. As per Rishi Sunak`s recent announcement The scheme has been extended until October 2020, yet the proportion of reimbursement is still subjected to the discussionClick here to read more about the scheme and see if you will be covered under this scheme or not in your given circumstance.
  3. Claiming benefits In case you are out of work or on a low income then you can access the full range of the welfare system, including Universal Credit. The standard allowance in Universal Credit and the basic element in Working Tax Credit for 1 year have increased by £20 per week on top of planned annual uprating. Note that this shall apply to all new and existing Universal Credit claimants and to existing Working Tax Credit claimants.
    Also, new claimants of Universal Credit New claimants are not required to attend the jobcentre to demonstrate gainful self-employment.
    • If you have coronavirus and you’re staying at home
      Universal Credit is generally a monthly payment given by the government to help you with your living costs if you’re on a low income or out of work. You may be eligible for Universal Credit if:
      • you’re on a low income or out of work
      • you’re 18 or over (there are some exceptions if you’re 16 to 17)
      • you’re under State Pension age (or your partner is)
      • you and your partner have £16,000 or less in savings between you, and
      • you live in the UK
    • If self-employed or not eligible for SSP
      In such a case, you can claim for Universal Credit or new style Employment and Support Allowance.
      • Universal Credit: If the eligibility criteria for claiming Universal Credit are met, then you can claim Universal Credit. Note that the Minimum Income Floor has been temporarily relaxed for all Universal Credit claimants and will last for the duration of the outbreak.
      • New style Employment and Support Allowance: If the eligibility criteria for claiming new style Employment and Support Allowance are met then you can claim this allowance. It will now be payable from day 1 of sickness, rather than day 8 if you have coronavirus or are advised to stay at home.
    • Rent costs
      Support for rental costs will be available through Universal Credit. Local housing allowance (LHA) rates are used to work out how much universal credit or housing benefit you get if you rent from a private landlord. These rates have been increased to the 30th percentile of market rents. It applies to all private renters who are new or existing Universal Credit housing element claimants, and to existing Housing Benefit claimants.

Dave Jangid | Online Account Filing

Dave Jangid | May 21, 2020

Note: Please note that the content of the above article and the aforementioned information are solely for the purpose of awareness and are informative in nature. The content is designed with intent to ease the understanding while preserving the essence and importance of the compliance rules and shall not be considered as an ultimate replication of the rules. Online Account Filing does not own any responsibility whatsoever for any unpleasant event that may arise due to the misinterpretation of a specific part or whole of the information.
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