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Furloughed because of Covid-19

Find out what help may be available to you.

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Furlough Scheme

Employees who are furloughed should continue to receive at least 80% of their usual earnings, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. Employers have a lot of flexibility about what hours they claim through this scheme. You will need to negotiate with your employer to agree what hours you are going to work and what hours you will be furloughed.

You can be furloughed even if your employer hasn't furloughed you before. 

From the end of April 2021, to be eligible to be furloughed, you need to have been on your employer's payroll on 2 March 2021. 

Your employer has the choice whether or not to add you to the furlough scheme. It is very important to talk to your employer and make sure you understand how their plans affect you. 

Some employers have been claiming money through the furlough scheme and not passing it on to their employees. You can check what money your employer has told the government they paid you using HM Revenue and Customs' (HMRC's) online account tools.

 

Furloughed Questions

Can my employer make me redundant while I am on furlough?

Yes, they can.

They should still follow the usual redundancy process.

Check your rights during the redundancy process on the Acas website..

Read how redundancy affects your benefit entitlement on the Your SItuation: Redundancy page

Use our Benefits Calculator to check what benefits you can claim.

Use our Grants Search to check whether any charities might be able to support you.

What can I do if my employer has reduced my hours?

From July 2020, employers can use a combination of furloughing and part-time work.

You should also check whether your employer has the right to reduce your hours

Whether or not you are on furlough, you are likely to see your income drop.

Most of the time, it will still be better for you to work the reduced hours than to quit the job altogether. You can claim benefits alongside working. If you claim Universal Credit, the number of hours you work won’t affect your benefit entitlement at all. Universal Credit is only based on your earnings, not the hours you work.

Use our Benefits Calculator to check whether you can get help to top up your income and whether you would be better off in work or not. 

Use our Grants Search to check whether any charities might be able to support you.

I have been shielding. Can I be furloughed?

Your employer can use the new furlough scheme if you are clinically extremely vulnerable.

If your employer is not willing to use the furlough scheme for you, you may be able to get Statutory Sick Pay of £96.35 per week, if you usually earn at least £120 per week.

If you aren't furloughed and can't get Statutory Sick Pay, you might be able to get New Style Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) if you have been paying national insurance contributions for the past couple of years.

You might be able to get support from the Access to Work scheme to help you to get to work without using public transport or to help with adaptations needed to make your workplace safe or enable you to work from home.

Use our Benefits Calculator to check what benefits you can claim. 

Use our Grants Search to check whether any charities might be able to support you.

What can I do if I can't work because I have to look after my child?

Your employer has to give you time off to look after your children. However, they don’t necessarily have to pay you while you are off. Check your employment contract. Some contracts give people paid time off to look after dependents.

Your employer can use the furlough scheme for you if you cannot work because of childcare or because you have other caring responsibilities, as long as your childcare or caring difficulties that are keeping you from working are related to coronavirus.

If you can't work because your child has been told they have to self isolate, and you live in Wales or Scotland, you may be eligible for a £500 coronavirus self isolation payment.

If you have to leave your job for reasons of childcare, you won’t be sanctioned on your benefits for doing so.

Use our Benefits Calculator to check what benefits you can claim.

Use our Grants Search to check whether there are any charities that might be able to support you.

What if I can't work because I or someone in my household is sick with coronavirus?

If you are an employee and you usually earn at least £120 per week, you should be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay of £96.35 per week. You might also be entitled to contractual sick pay, which would mean you would be paid more than £96.35 per week.

It doesn’t matter if you are working full time or part time. As long as you earn at least £120 per week, you will be paid the full rate of Statutory Sick Pay.

Your employer should not ask you for a sick note for the first seven days. Employers have been asked not to ask for sick notes at all but some still might. If your employer does need you to provide a sick note, you can get one using the NHS online service.

If you are in England, Scotland or Wales and have been told to self isolate, you may be able to get a £500 one-off Coronavirus Self Isolation Payment to help you. Northern Ireland has a different scheme

Whether or not you get Statutory Sick Pay, you are likely to see your income drop.

Use our Benefits Calculator to check what benefits you can claim. 

Use our Grants Search to check whether there are any charities that might be able to support you.

I am worried about Council Tax. What can I do?

If you are struggling with Council Tax, use our Benefits Calculator to see if you are entitled to Council Tax Support/Reduction. If you are, contact your council to make a claim for it. Your council may also offer a discretionary scheme to help with Council Tax. This might be able to help even if you are not entitled to Council Tax Support/Reduction or if your Council Tax Support/Reduction doesn’t cover all the Council Tax you have to pay. Some councils are offering payment holidays on Council Tax. Check your council's website to see what their rules are.

I am worried about bills. What other help can I get?

Mortgage

If you are struggling with your mortgage, it is important to communicate with your mortgage lender.

You can have up to a maximum of six months mortgage holiday, as long as it ends before 31 July 2021.

If you have already had six months of mortgage holiday, you should be given tailored support from your lender. Unless you agree to it, your home cannot be repossessed until 31 January 2021 at the earliest.

You can find out more about support with mortgage payments on the Financial Conduct Authority website.

If you are struggling with debt, you should get free, confidential, non-judgemental debt advice.

Rent

If you are struggling with your rent, first check what help you can get through the benefits system.

If you live in Wales, you may be able to get a loan to help pay your rent.

If you live in Scotland, you may be able to get a loan to help with your rent or rent arrears.

You could also speak to your landlord and ask if they would be willing to let you pay rent late. If you are behind on your rent, it is very important you get advice as soon as possible. 

Household bills

If you are struggling with household bills, speak to your utility providers and let them know why you’re struggling.

Lots of utility providers have schemes in place to help people who are struggling with money because of coronavirus.

Debts

If you have debts, get in touch with your creditors and ask them if you could suspend payment. Lots of lenders have special policies in place to help people who are affected by coronavirus. The payment holiday scheme is due to be extended, but the details have not yet been published.

If you are struggling with keeping on top of debt payments, you should get free, independent, non-judgemental debt advice.

Everyone knows this is a stressful, difficult time for a lot of people. There is a lot of support out there but if you don’t ask for it you won’t get it.

Benefits

To check what benefits you might be entitled to quickly and easily, you can use the Turn2us Benefits Calculator

Grants

To find out what help may be available from grant giving charities, you can use the Turn2us Grants Search

Turn2us Grants Search

Advice and Support

Turn2us is unable to offer advice on individual situations. To find an adviser in your area to discuss your situation with you can use the Turn2us Find an Adviser tool

Find an Adviser

Updated: 6 April 2021