Support during the Covid-19 pandemic
Updated: Mar 30, 2020
The government have announced over the last few days a number of economic aid packages for businesses and individuals. During these turbulent times, everyone is concerned about their incomes and rightly so. However, many of these schemes are brand new and many of the mechanisms to implement don't currently exist and are currently being built.
Here we'd like to share what support exists for workers as we currently understand it. The situation is changing very quickly each and every day and we'll endeavor to keep this information as current as possible.
Support for the employed
A week ago, the government announced an aid package for employees to hopefully reduce the number laid off by businesses. Some further guidance was released last night but this is still in the early stages.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is aimed at paying 80% of wages to a furloughed worker (up to £2500 per month). A furloughed worker is one that is placed on temporary leave of absence, instead of being made redundant straight away. It will only apply to those workers who started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before the 28th February.
We currently have several questions around the specifics on how this would work and are awaiting further guidance from HMRC. It is absolutely our intention to offer this scheme as the employer and furlough our employees if possible. Bearing in mind the HMRC portal is currently being built to facilitate this scheme and access the grant money, it may still be some days until we can confirm the mechanism for how this would work.
Support for the self-employed
The government has recently announced what support will be available to the self-employed
Announced yesterday, the self-employed have been offered up to 80% of their profits (up to £2500 per month) as long as your average trading profit is less than £50,000 and you were self-employed in the year 2018/2019. Unfortunately, this will only be available towards the start of June, when a system will be created to claim this grant. Unfortunately, this will not be available to those recently self-employed, without a full set of accounts. You can find out more about the Coronavirus Self-employment Income Support Scheme here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme
Additionally or if you don’t qualify for the above, the government is making assistance available as of now through the ‘Employment Support Allowance’. There is a weekly amount payable to you if you are not working. You can visit this website https://www.gov.uk/employment-support-allowance or call them on 0800 328 5644 (choose option 2)
Depending on your circumstances, you may also be entitled to other government benefits such as Universal Credit.
For those unable to work from home, current government advice is that you may travel to and from work and perform your duties whilst respecting social distancing measures. This is obviously subject to change.
Clipper Contracting Group remains open and operational to ensure all payments due in the next few weeks are paid on time. There may be an increase in call volume or slight delays in the coming weeks so please bear with us. These will be difficult times for the temporary UK labour market, indeed the whole country. We will do our upmost to support you where we can and provide further guidance where necessary.