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Work and coronavirus

If your employer has told you not to work

Your employer can use the government’s Job Retention scheme to pay you while there is no work to do.  This can be backdated to 1 March 2020.  Your employer will need to classify you as a ‘furloughed worker‘.

UPDATE: the cut of date for this scheme has been extended from 28 February to 19 March so if you started a new job in March and were on the payroll by the 19 March you will be eligible.

This only applies if you are not working, if you are working from home then you should be paid normally.

If your employer made you redundant before the scheme was announced you will need to challenge you redundancy first, ask your employer to reverse your redundancy and treat you as a furloughed worker.

If they say no, ask for their reasons in writing.  Then contact us for further advice.

There is more information and advice on

If you need money while you are waiting, check what benefits you may be entitled to.

If you are self employed

If your income has dropped because of coronavirus then you may be able to get help from the Self-employment Income Support Scheme.

This could replace 80% of your average profits up to a maximum of £2500 per month.

To be eligible you must:

  • Have self employed profits of less than £50,000 per year which make up more than half of your total income.
  • Have lost profits due to coronavirus
  • Have submitted your tax return for 2018-19 (you have until 23.04.20 to do this)
  • Have earned self-employed income in the tax year 2019-20

UPDATE: Now based on total income including benefits (not just your taxable income)

Apply online at GOV.UK

HMRC will calculate your average profits from tax returns submitted over the last 3 tax years and you will receive one payment to cover the length of the scheme.  You can find out more about the rules on GOV.UK

If you are not eligible for this scheme there is other help available:

  • Self Assessment payments have been deferred for one year
  • Grants for businesses
  • Increased rates of Universal Credit
  • Business Interruption Loan Scheme

If you are self-employed but trade through a limited company and pay yourself through PAYE then you may be entitled to the Job Retention Scheme support.

See GOV.UK for more information.

Employment Tribunals

Face to face hearings have been cancelled and will be changed to a telephone case management hearing.  More guidance can be found here at  GOV.UK

Your rights at work

If you have been treated differently at work because of who you are – because you are a woman, because you are pregnant, because of your race or your religion – this is discrimination and it is illegal under the Equality Act 2010.  Citizens Advice has an online tool which helps you decide if your problem at work is discrimination.

Working Families is a charity which offers legal advice for families and carers.  They have FAQs about your rights at work as a parent or carer as well as a helpline 0300 012 0312

If you need to take time off work to care for someone there is advice on the website

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