Coronavirus: Support for individuals affected

Updated 29th May 2020, 17:33. For the latest medical advice, visit NHS.uk/Coronavirus.

The Chancellor has made clear that our NHS will have the resources it needs, and that we will do whatever we can to support individuals and businesses. 

Extention of Statutory Sick Pay

If you're too ill to work, or are self-isolating because of coronavirus, you can get Statutory Sick Pay for every day you are in isolation, though you must self-isolate for at least 4 days to be eligible. 

You cannot get less than the statutory amount of £94.25 a week - though you could get more if your company has a sick pay scheme. 

There are different rules for agricultural workers. Click here to find out more. You can also now get an isolation note to give to your employer online, by clicking here. 

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

If you and your employer both agree, your employer might be able to keep you on the payroll if they’re unable to operate or have no work for you to do because of coronavirus. This is called being 'furloughed'. 

Your employer can pay 80% of your wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, up to £2,500 a month.

However, importantly, you cannot undertake any work for your employer whilst on furlough. 

All UK employers with a PAYE scheme are eligible, including businesses, charities, recruitment agencies (agency workers paid through PAYE) and public authorities. Employees can be on any type of contract including agency, flexible and zero-hours contracts.  

The scheme is open to employees who were on the payroll on 19th March 2020, and will last until the end of October. 

Changes to the scheme

From the start of July, employers can bring workers back on a part-time basis. Individual firms can decide the hours and shift patterns their employees will work on their return and will be responsible for paying their wages while in work. To enable the functioning of Flexible Furloughing, claims from July onwards will be restricted to employers currently using the scheme and previously furloughed employees. The scheme will close to new entrants on 30 June, with the last three-week furloughs before that point commencing on 10 June.

From August , the level of government grant provided through the job retention scheme will be slowly tapered to reflect that people will be returning to work, but crucially, individuals will continue to receive that 80% of salary covering the time they are unable to work.

This means:

  • June and July: The government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 as well as employer National Insurance (ER NICS) and pension contributions. Employers are not required to pay anything.

 

  • August: The government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions – for the average claim, this represents 5% of the gross employment costs the employer would have incurred had the employee not been furloughed.

 

  • September: The government will pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions and 10% of wages to make up 80% total up to a cap of £2,500. For the average claim, this represents 14% of the gross employment costs the employer would have incurred had the employee not been furloughed.

 

  • October: The government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions and 20% of wages to make up 80% total up to a cap of £2,500. For the average claim, this represents 23% of the gross employment costs the employer would have incurred had the employee not been furloughed.

Housing Support

For those in difficulty due to Coronavirus, mortgage lenders will offer at least a three month mortgage holiday. These people will not have to pay a penny towards their mortgage whilst they get back on their feet. 

New evictions from homes have also been suspended, and no possession proceedings through the courts will start during this crisis. 

Universal Credit

If you are without a job, you may be able to claim Universal Credit to help with your living costs. Click here to find out more.

If you are already claiming Universal Credit, you will continue to get it as normal. If you are working, your payment may be adjusted if you can no longer work due to coronavirus. You should tell the Department for Work and Pensions the hours you are working in the usual way in your online account. 

For one year, the government has increased the standard allowance for a single Universial Credit Claimant (aged 25 and over) from £317.82 to £409.89 a month. 

You still need to tell the Department for Work and Pensions about changes to your circumstances. 

Support for the self-employed

Support is also available for the self-employed. Click here to find out more. 

TV Licences for the over-75's 

The government and the BBC have announced that changes to the Licence Fee for people over the age of 75 that had been due to come into effect on 1st June have been delayed. 

MOT's and car repairs

If your MOT expires on or after 30th March 2020, your MOT will automatically be given a 6-month MOT exemption. This will extend your current expiry date by 6 months. You must keep your car roadworthy though. Click here to find out more. However, if your car is essential, you should still take your vehicle to be repaired at the nearest open garage - following social distancing guidelines. You must keep your car in a roadworthy condition.