It was great to be at this year’s Durham Pride to show our support to the local community. It was…Read article
Frequently Asked Questions
May 1, 2020
Listed below are some frequently asked questions.
Q: Can I be rehired if I was made redundant due to Coronavirus and be furloughed?
A: If you were made redundant after 28th February 2020 your employer can agree to re-employ you and place you on furlough instead. They’ll still be able to claim a grant to cover 80% of your monthly earnings, up to a monthly cap of £2,500.
Q: I want to register myself or someone else as being extremely vulnerable but I can’t use the internet. The current Government page only allows internet use.
A: A previous version of this page had a telephone number to call to register. It is still shown on a Government document as 0800 028 8327. It still works as of 1st April.
Q: Where can I refer a client for help if they have disclosed abuse?
A: Many services are still providing full advice. Always remember 999 if the person feels immediately at risk to life.
Q: Am I entitled to full pay if I am furloughed?
A: The Government will pay employers 80% of wages, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month for each furloughed employee. The employer should decide whether they’ll top up the wages to 100%, but they do not have to. If the employer decides not to top up the wages, they should tell the employee and explain why not. If furloughed employees are paid 80% of their wage, this might mean they get less than the minimum wage. This is allowed as long as they’re not working.
Q: I am struggling to pay my mortgage is there any help available?
A: The Government has announced that if you can’t pay your mortgage because of coronavirus you might be able to have a 3-month payment holiday. If you can, keep making your payments until your mortgage provider agrees you can take a payment holiday. You should talk to your provider if you’re already behind with your mortgage payments. You might still be able to get a payment holiday. Your home shouldn’t be repossessed because of coronavirus.
Q: I’m struggling to pay my essential bills what can I do?
Q: I’m self isolating and I’ve been told that I am not entitled to sick pay.
A: If you are staying at home because of coronavirus you can now claim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). This includes individuals who are caring for people in the same household and therefore have been advised to do a household quarantine. If you are not eligible for SSP – for example if you are self-employed or earning below the Lower Earnings Limit of £118 per week – and you have coronavirus or are advised to stay at home, you can now more easily make a claim for Universal Credit or new style Employment and Support Allowance. If you think you’re entitled to SSP but your employer says you’re not and refuses to pay it, you should contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) or HMRC’s Statutory Payments Disputes Team.
Q: What symptoms will cause me to self isolate?
A: Either a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature) or a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual). To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home.
Q: Can my employer insist when I take my holidays? I’ve been told I have to take/cancel my holidays.
Q: I’m self employed but cant evidence my income, what support is there for me?
A: The Self-employment Income Support scheme is available if you have submitted a tax return for 2019-20 (and other requirements), at the latest by 23/4/20. So if you were self-employed last year and haven’t done the tax return, do it quickly. You can’t apply yet, HMRC will contact you later and you may need to claim means-tested benefits in the meantime. If you weren’t self-employed then, you won’t be able to use the Support Scheme and could consider claiming Universal Credit and Council Tax Reduction instead. Some people may be entitled to Support Scheme and some means-tested benefits – benefit check could be made if appropriate.
Q: My employer has told me not to work, what are my rights?
A: If your place of work has shut down or there’s no work for you because of coronavirus, you can carry on getting paid. Your employer might use the government Coronavirus Job Retention scheme to pay you while there’s no work to do.