Coronavirus financial help for PAYE employees
Hello, if you’re at all worried about getting paid or losing your job because of coronavirus, we’ve put together a list of financial help that you could get.
This page is specifically money help for individuals who are employed by a company and paid a salary through PAYE. If you’re self-employed, or a freelancer, please read our special guide for you.
Last updated: 26 September 2020
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Coronavirus financial help for employees.
We walk you through the money help available to support you if you’re worried about not getting paid, or losing your job.
Changes from 1 November 2020
If your employer is going to struggle to keep you employed over winter and might have to make you redundant. Or put you on reduced hours. The government’s new Job Support Scheme might help you keep your job.
How the Job Support Scheme could help you keep your job.
We’re six months in to the pandemic and unfortunately coronavirus cases are rising again. So that means that the government has had to rethink what it can do to help businesses who are going to struggle over winter.
Very few of us have been able to go back to work in the office and the government has brought in new restrictions that mean that we won’t be returning any time soon. Which is fine for some companies, but a real challenge for others.
If you work in hospitality or retail then you may have been on furlough or had your hours reduced for a while now, or just be starting to get back to a more normal routine.
If you’re an employee, you might be concerned about your job. The purpose of this article is to tell you what support is available to you and the company you work for, to help you keep your job.
The furlough scheme will be ending on 31 October, so what next?
The furlough scheme officially ends on 31 October. The government wants companies to try to keep their employees, so they’ve come up with a new scheme – Job Support Scheme.
It’s different from furlough. The main thing with furlough was that you weren’t allowed to work whilst on furlough. Whereas, with the Job Support Scheme, you do have to work a minimum number of hours.
Who is the Job Support Scheme (JSS) for?
The Job Support Scheme is designed to help businesses that are likely to struggle over winter. That might be because they are seasonal businesses. Or because the tighter restrictions on people working and socialising together mean that the business can’t operate as it would normally or is losing sales.
The point of the scheme is to cover some of the employee salary costs. So that companies keep their employees in jobs over the winter period.
How does the Job Support Scheme work?
You would need to still work at least one-third (33%) of your normal working hours. So if you normally work 40 hours a week over 5 days, you’d need to keep working over 13 hours a week for your company.
The Job Support Scheme separates your working hours from your non-working hours. The government gives your employer a grant towards paying you for some of your non-working hours.
Let’s say your company decides to reduce your hours from 5 days a week to 2 days a week. That means you’d be working 40% of your normal hours.
Working hours = 2 days a week (40%). Your company would pay you as normal for these working hours.
Non-working hours = 3 days a week (60%).
You don’t get paid for all of your non-working hours. Instead you get paid for two-thirds (2/3) of them. So it’s like your non-working hours get chopped into 3 bits.
Your company pays for one bit of your non-working hours. The government pays for another bit. And the third bit you don’t get anything.
So if we’re saying that your non-working days are 3 days a week:
Your company would cover 1 day’s pay.
The government would cover 1 day’s pay (up to a maximum of £697.92 a month).
And you’d lose out on 1 day’s pay a week.
How much will I get paid under the Job Support Scheme?
That depends how many hours your company can afford to keep you working. The more hours you work, the more you’ll get paid.
The minimum amount you would get is 77% of your normal salary (that would be if you worked the lowest amount of hours: one-third/33% of your normal hours).
How do I know if I’m eligible for the Job Support Scheme?
You can be put on the Job Support Scheme as long as you started your job and were put on PAYE payroll on or before 23 September 2020.
If you work for a small or medium sized company, then your employer should just be able to apply through HMRC.
If you work for a big company, HMRC will run some financial checks first, to see if the company really is struggling due to coronavirus.
When does the Job Support Scheme start?
It starts from 1 November 2020 and runs for 6 months (until end of April 2021). The government plans to review it after 3 months to see if it needs to adjust anything.
How is the Job Support Scheme different from furlough?
If you remember, with furlough, employees were not allowed to keep working for the business. They were effectively put on leave, so they got paid for staying at home and not working. The government covered the salary payments (up to 80% of monthly salary, capped at £2,500 a month).
With the Job Support Scheme, you still have to work a minimum of one-third of your normal hours. Your employer still has to cover most of your salary payments, but they get a top up from the government, to cover some of it.
What can I do if I’m worried about losing my job?
We’re sorry that this is so stressful. If you’re worried that your company is going to struggle over the next 6 months, speak to your boss. Show them this article. Make sure they know about the Job Support Scheme and how to apply for it.
Help if you can’t work because you have coronavirus symptoms
If you can’t work and your employer will not pay you your normal salary for that time (or enhanced sick pay), you can claim statutory sick pay (SSP) from your employer. You can claim from the first day that you are unable to work and it applies if you are self-isolating because the government has advised to stay at home, even if you don’t have coronavirus symptoms.
SSP is £94.25 a week, so for some people it might be a lot less than your normal salary. It gets paid in the same way as your salary, so if you normally get paid monthly, you’ll get your SSP monthly too.
If your employer needs you to give them a form, then you can get that from NHS 111 online.
If you get made redundant and your employer won’t apply for the Job Support Scheme or a Business Interruption Loan
You will get a minimum statutory redundancy payment, as long as you have worked for the company for at least 2 years. How much you get depends on your age at the time that you worked for the company:
- half a week’s pay for each full year you were under 22
- one week’s pay for each full year you were 22 or older, but under 41
- one and half week’s pay for each full year you were 41 or older
Where to find a temporary job
Some NHS trusts are also hiring (for project managers, logistics, admin and porters). Check the NHS Jobs website.
Of course, you need to make sure that you protect your health. So if you are in an at-risk category for coronavirus, where it could have a serious impact on your health, then these types of jobs are probably not good ones for you.
If you are let go from your job, check what benefits you can claim
There is zero shame in claiming benefits. We’re in the midst of a global pandemic and over 1 million people have already applied for universal credit since the crisis started. So please go ahead and apply if you need money to tide you over.