• Til worker employee accepting payment from a customer

What support can I get as an Employee?

I’m sure that you’re probably all aware that the Government are trying their hardest to help us all out. Whether it’s us as an employee or a business. However, with how fast the situation keeps changing this means that their help keeps changing making it hard to keep up with! Especially the support which they are making available for employees.

To try and help you understand it all we thought we would put it all in one place for you. Hopefully this will help make sure that you are aware of all the support available to you the employee.

Job Support Scheme Open

If you are fortunate enough to still have your job but have had to reduce your hours then this scheme will help you as long as you are working at least 20% of your normal hours and have been on the PAYE payroll on or before 23rd September 2020.

You will continue to be paid as normal for the hours which you work. For the hours not worked, your employer and the government will each pay a portion of your normal wages. The Governments contribution will be up to a maximum of £1541.75/month.

For example:

If you normally work 20 hours and earn £10 per hour and you are now only working 10 hours

Your employer will pay you £100 (hours worked) + £5 (5% of lost hours)

Government will pay you £61.67 (62% of lost hours)

So you will only end up being £33.33 short

All National Insurance and Pension contributions will still need to be paid by your employer.

If you have already previously been on furlough then you are still eligible for the Job Support Scheme. If you are on a ‘Zero Hours’ contract or on irregular hours, then you are also still eligible.

This support scheme is available from 1st November 2020 for 6 months.

Job Support Scheme Closed – If your place of work is legally required to close as a direct result of coronavirus restrictions

If your place of work has been instructed to shut due to further restrictions you should still receive 67% of your usual wages up to a maximum of £2,083 per month which is paid for by the government. You will also still have your National Insurance and any Pension contributions paid for by your employer.

This is available for 6 months from 1st November 2020.

Other things that may be helpful to know:

Sick Pay

If you need to take time off work due to becoming unwell from coronavirus, you will be entitled to your usual sick leave and sick pay.

If you need to self-isolate, including if you’ve been instructed to under the new contact tracing schemes, but you don’t have symptoms it may be possible for you to continue working if you are one of the many employees working from home in-line with the Government guidance.

However, if you are expected to go into work you will be entitled to statutory sick pay if you’re self-isolating as long as you would get it in normal circumstances and earn at least £120 per week.

The current amount is £95.85 per week and with the new rules you are entitled to this from day 1 of self-isolation. If you then become unwell with Coronavirus you can continue to claim statutory sick pay for 28 weeks.

Please remember that this statutory sick pay extension is only available for cases relating to self-isolation and not any other illnesses.

You must also have an official reason for self-isolating. For example if you or a member of your household has symptoms, you’ve been advised by 111 or a GP or you have been contacted by track and trace.

Working From Home

If you are working from home it could be possible for you to claim for costs ie…heating and electricity.

You are entitled to claim £6/per week and you can claim in 2 ways.

You could claim from your employer which would be tax free. However given the current struggles facing businesses you may want to think whether this is the best route.

You could claim tax relief on £6 of your income per week which would work out to about £60/year. You can apply for this directly to HMRC. As long as you’re claiming around £6/per week then they shouldn’t request any evidence for the extra spending.

We really hope that this helps you understand a little more what support is available for employees. Let’s face it in the current circumstances we need all the help we can get.

Please also remember that if you would rather talk through  with somebody then we are always here to help.

We aim to keep you up to date with the ever changing support for employees so look out for further blogs.