COVID-19: Money Guide
Money is on everyone’s minds at the moment. Our main concern is obviously catching the Coronavirus which is killing people everywhere. However, the immediate and long-term effect is and will be on people’s finances. On Friday, the Chancellor and PM confirmed that they would be putting measures into place to support people through these testing times.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak told businesses today that they should look at the support available before laying people off. Employers can apply for grants up to 80% of a salaried staff’s wages, up to £2,5000. I think this has been an incredible relief and support to many people, who have been rightly concerned about losing their income. However, many people have already lost their jobs whether through redundancy or termination of notice. Please do read the full government article which expands on all of the support available for businesses.
What has become very clear throughout this initial stage, is that employees will remember how employers treated them through this crisis. Virgin Airlines asking their employees to take 8-weeks of unpaid leave was the first scandal to trend on Twitter, that I was aware of. Followed by a succession of companies such as Wilko who allegedly are looking to scrap sick pay for employees. Not only will employees be unhappy but customers will also look to boycott companies who offer no support for their staff during these times.
Support package for PAYE earners
Given the fact that there are so many people in the entertainment, hospitality and retail industries. This package is incredibly welcome to staff who will be affected by their loss of earnings. Perhaps too late for those who have been told this week that their employers no longer require them to come to work. However, many hospitality workers have been on standby awaiting their fate. The support package will cover PAYE staff but will not necessarily extend to those who are casual staff or on zero contract hours.
Self-employed say it’s not enough
Many people who are self-employed have been anxiously awaiting news to hear if they would be supported by the government in today’s update.
If you are eligible for new style Employment and Support Allowance, it will now be payable from day 1 of sickness, rather than day 8, if you have COVID-19 or are advised to stay at home.
Mr Sunak said: “I’m strengthening the safety net for self-employed people too by suspending the minimum income floor for everyone affected by the economic impact of coronavirus.
“That means that self-employed people can now access, in full, Universal Credit at a rate equivalent to statutory sick pay for employees.
Despite the fact that this safety net was not there before today. Many of those self-employed feels that this is not enough.
COVID-19: guidance for employees
Please do keep reading official government information relating to your rights, benefits and financial situation which is ever-changing. I have provided links to these in this article and no do look to act as a substitute for any official guidelines. Only to talk about how this is affecting us and provide links to useful sources.
Universal Credit to go up by £1,000 per year
Rishi Sunak revealed that the Government would be increasing the Universal Credit standard allowance for the next 12 months by £1,000 a year, and raising the working tax credit basic element by the same sum. If you have ever been on Universal Credit – which I have – this increase was incredibly welcomed.