Last updated: 8 June 2020
Work and pay
We understand people having to self-isolate may have concerns about whether they will get paid while they are away from work. Here is the government advice on what you need to discuss with your employer. Statutory sick pay and other financial support is available.
Job retention scheme update
The government has announced that the job retention scheme will continue until the end of October 2020.
From 1 August 2020 employers will need to make a contribution towards the funding of this scheme. The scheme will continue to cover 80% of salary with employers paying National Insurance and pension contributions. From September employers will contribute 10% of pay rising to 20% in October.
From 1 July 2020 it will be possible for workers to go back to work for any amount of time and then to be furloughed for the remainder.
For more information visit GOV.UK.
If you receive Tax Credits and are unable to work your normal hours due to Coronavirus you don’t need to tell HMRC about changes to your working hours until eight weeks after the Job Retention Scheme closes at the end of October.
You will have to tell HMRC if you have any permanent changes - for example if:
- you're made redundant or lose your job
- you've stopped being self-employed because you weren't getting any work
- your hours change permanently
For more information visit GOV.UK.
Help for people who are self-employed
Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) update
The government’s self-employment income support scheme has also been extended. Those eligible will be able to claim a second and final grant in August which will be up to 70% of average monthly trading profits capped at £6,570.
For more information see the SEISS section below or visit GOV.UK
If not eligible for the job retention scheme people may be able to claim Universal Credit depending on individual or family circumstances.
From 30 March 2020, the way Universal Credit is worked out for claimants who are self-employed has changed due to Covid-19. Payments are no longer calculated using an assumed level of earnings called the ‘minimum income floor’.
Mortgages and credit cards
Three-month mortgage holidays and credit card forbearance will be available for those who are struggling. Contact your bank to discuss.
The mortgage payment holiday scheme has been extended for a further 3 months until 31 October 2020. The deadline for homeowners to apply to extend mortgage holidays has also been extended until the end of July.
For more information visit the FCA website
Gas and electric pre-pay meters: If you are having problems topping up due to social isolation or having financial difficulties please contact your utility provider. If you are not sure who your supplier, use Find My Supplier.
Help with housing costs (rent and council tax): If you are struggling to pay your rent, please contact your landlord urgently. There is also information further up this page on the council tax hardship scheme and information below on claiming benefits.
Water bills: Southern Water has expanded the support available for customers during the current pandemic. This includes three-month payment breaks for any customer impacted by the virus, automatic renewal of support tariffs so customers don’t need to worry about reapplying, and accepting referrals to its priority services register from councils, emergency services and Citizens Advice. The best way to contact Southern Water is via email or through its website.
If you are worried about money or are struggling now, please read our full update on coronavirus and benefits.