Your personalised action plan

Thanks for answering those questions. Here are your personalised recommendations for the help you could get.

1. Keep your job, but get put on furlough

The government has extended the furlough scheme (Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme) through November 2020. It means you’ll stay employed, but you’ll be paid less salary for a while (you’ll get 80% of your salary, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month).

What does furlough mean?

It means that you’re put on leave by your company for some or all of your normal hours. So you’re still an employee and you still have a job. But you won’t be working full-time

How do I know if I’m eligible?

To be eligible for this latest round of furlough, you have to be on PAYE payroll with your company on 30 October 2020.

Can I still work on furlough?

Yes, it’s up to your employer. They can keep you working part-time, so they will pay your normal salary for the hours you work. Then you’ll get furlough pay calculated on the hours you don’t work.

How much will I get paid?

You’ll get 80% of your monthly salary up to a total of £2,500 a month.

Unfortunately, if you’re normally paid more than £2,500 a month, then this will mean a much bigger drop in income for you as you’ll only get £2,500/month during furlough.

Also, if you do any part-time work whilst on furlough, the 80% will be calculated on the hours you don’t work.

What about that missing 20% of my salary?

Your employer doesn’t have to cover the missing 20% (although they can choose to pay it to you). So you’ll probably be losing 20% of your pay (or more if you normally earn more than £2,500 a month).

If you really need that 20% and think you could get some work on the side to top it up, ask your company if they’ll let you do that.
You’d need to work that other job outside the hours you normally work on your main job (so if you normally work Mon-Fri 9 – 5, you’d be able to do your 2nd job at weekends or evenings).

I’m on a temporary, agency, part-time or zero hours contract

Good news! You can still be furloughed. As long as you’re paid a salary via PAYE. If your wages change month to month (e.g on zero hours contracts), your ‘monthly salary’ will be calculated on the average monthly amount you’ve been paid since you started work there.

So they’ll basically add up everything you’ve been paid since you started work. Then divide it by the number of months you’ve worked, to give an average monthly amount.

Do I have to do anything to get furloughed?

You can’t force your employer to furlough you, but if you’re worried about losing your job, make sure they know it’s an option.

To furlough you, your company just needs you to sign a simple document (a furlough notice) that says you agree to it.

2. What happens if I get made redundant or let go from my job?

We know that the idea of redundancy or losing your job is scary

Is there any way to keep my job?

Possibly! If you were made redundant/let go after 30 October 2020, you can ask your old company to rehire you and put you on furlough.

You can also ask your company to look into getting a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan. These are loans up to £5 million to help businesses with cashflow (including so they can pay salaries).

Will I get any money if I’m made redundant?

Some companies will pay you a sum of money if they make you redundant (that’s called an ‘enhanced redundancy package’).

You automatically get standard redundancy payments (called ‘statutory redundancy’) if you’ve worked for your company for more than 2 years.

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

Unless you’ve been with the company for a very long time, or your salary is high, it’s probably won’t give you much money. So look into getting benefits as well.

What if I’m just let go (and they don’t make me redundant)

We’d expect most covid-19 employee terminations to be redundancy situations. So if your whole company or division is closing and your company hasn’t given you redundancy pay, ask them why they don’t consider this a redunancy situation.

It’s possible for some companies to do layoffs or short-time working. Basically where they ask you to stop working for them temporarily, or reduce your hours. Usually as a way to avoid redundancies.

Unless you’re in an industry where this is normal practice, or your employment contract already allows them to do layoffs/short-time working, they have to agree it with you.

They either have to pay you your full pay during this time, or agree a different amount with you.

3. Need more money for yourself? Check what benefits you could get

If you don’t think the above will get you enough income to pay your mortgage, rent or other living costs, then check what benefits you could get.

Use a benefits’ calculator

The rules around benefits claims (specifically Universal Credit) have been changed to make it easier for people to get support. Although it takes around 5 weeks for your UC application to be assessed, you can request an advance payment, which will be paid quicker to tide you over.

Use EntitledTo’s benefits calculator to see what you are eligible for.

If you are eligible for Universal Credit (or any other benefits), we recommend applying online as phone lines are incredibly busy.

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