Coronavirus: Employee Support

Last Updated: 19 August 2020

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Source: Jones Harris

A person’s employment rights will depend on their employment status and specific circumstances. Please check the Guidance on returning to the UK. In summary:

  • Where possible people should work from home during their self-isolation period. Employees should talk to their employer about working from home before they travel.
  • Employees can agree with their employer to take leave to cover the period of their self-isolation, providing they have enough leave remaining.
  • Employers can also tell employees to take leave as long as they give them enough notice. Find out about notice periods.
  • Employees may be able to take unpaid leave if they’re forced to travel to deal with an emergency involving a family member or dependent. Find out about time off for family and dependants.
  • If you’re out of the country when a quarantine is announced. Employees should talk to their employer as soon as possible to discuss options.

Further information can be found here.

The UK Government has changed its rule today so that all health workers must self-isolate for 14 days, along with everyone else, if returning from a high risk country.

More information can be found directly on the GOV website.

Click here for more information

We have had a few queries about whether people who have been forced to self-isolate on their return from Spain can claim Statutory Sick Pay.

Unfortunately, the government states, you will not qualify if you:

There is a significant amount of information here for anyone who would like to know more about self-isolation and travel to the UK.

To listen to the video and the discussion click here.

For more information see here.

Source and credit to Jones Harris

Any employees you place on furlough must be furloughed for a minimum period of 3 consecutive weeks. When they return to work, they must be taken off furlough.

Employees can be furloughed multiple times, but each separate instance must be for a minimum period of 3 consecutive weeks.

If you have any queries about this, please refer to the current source document about taking staff off furlough and then furloughing them again.

In light of COVID-19 Universal Credit has been slightly amended to aid more of those who has been affected by the outbreak, providing you more support.Click the button below to find out if you're eligible.

Click here for more information

Many dental nurses are facing financial difficulties due to COVID-19 outbreak. Below you'll find information about support and benefits available from the government to help you with your financial situation. You may be able to claim:

  • Universal Credit
  • New Style Jobseeker's Allowance (New Style JSA)
  • New Style Employment and Support Allowance (New Style ESA)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

See below for more information about each of these benefits.

New Style JSA and New Style ESA can be claimed on their own or at the same time as Universal Credit, so it may be a good idea to apply for Universal Credit anyway, particularly if you pay rent or have children to support.

Use a benefits calculator to find out what benefits you might be entitled to.

Universal Credit

You may be eligible for Universal Credit if:

  • you're on a low income or out of work
  • you're 18 or over (there are some exceptions if you're 16 to 17)
  • you're under State Pension age (or your partner is)
  • you and your partner have £16,000 or less in savings between you, and
  • you live in the UK

Please be aware that if you are a tax credits claimant and you claim Universal Credit, your tax credit award will be closed with effect from the day before your Universal Credit claim is made. Your Universal Credit claim will start from the day that you submit it. You will not be able to re-open an award for tax credits once your existing award is closed.

Read more about eligibility for Universal Credit.

New Style Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)

You may be eligible for New Style JSA if:

  • you’re unemployed or working less than 16 hours a week
  • you have been working as an employee, usually within the last 2 to 3 years, and have paid or been credited with enough National Insurance contributions
  • you do not have an illness or disability that limits your ability to work
  • you’re under State Pension age
  • you’re not in full time education, and
  • you live in the UK

Read more about eligibility for New Style JSA.

Your savings and capital (or your partner’s savings, capital and income) are not taken into account when claiming New Style JSA. However, your earnings and any payment you are getting from a pension can affect the amount you may receive.

New Style Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

You may be eligible for New Style ESA if:

  • you are ill or have a health condition or disability that limits your ability to work
  • you are not entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), or your entitlement to SSP has ended
  • you have been working (either as an employee or self-employed) within the last 2 to 3 years and have paid, or been credited with, enough National Insurance contributions
  • you are 16 or over, and
  • you are under State Pension age

Read more about eligibility for New Style ESA.

Your (or your partner’s) savings will not affect how much New Style ESA you’re paid. If your partner works, it does not affect your claim. Most income is not taken into account, but a personal pension can affect the amount you may receive.

If you get or are eligible for the severe disability premium

You can get contribution-based or income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) if you:

  • get the severe disability premium, or are entitled to it, or
  • got or were entitled to the severe disability premium in the last month, and you’re still eligible for it

Read more about eligibility for contribution-based or income-related ESA.

Changes because of coronavirus

To help us get through the unprecedented number of Universal Credit claims, we’ve changed how we process them. This means there is no need to call us. If we need to check any information provided as part of your claim with you – we will call you. Don’t worry, we are working hard to progress all of the claims. There is no need to contact us to check progress.

You should apply for Universal Credit online. You do not need to call DWP to arrange an appointment and you shouldn’t attend the job Centre. We will know that you have applied and will contact you if we need any more information from you to process any payment you are due. We will put a note into your online account and follow up with a phone call – this may appear as a private number. Please check your online account and look out for calls from us.

We are working hard to ensure the online application reflects these changes – in the meantime please do not call us. If you’ve recently applied for Universal Credit, your claim starts the day you submit your application online. This date is not reliant on your identity being verified online or linked to the date of any further contact.

DWP will never text or email asking for personal information or bank details.

If you cannot use digital services at all, Universal Credit applications can still be made over the phone.

If you’re a new customer and are having a problem verifying your identity online do not worry – your claim has been submitted. Your Job Centre will know you have applied online, they will call you if they need to confirm any information with you in order to progress your claim.

Our phone systems mean calls from us may display as 0800 numbers, or an unknown number. If you get a call from an unknown number following our message in your account please pick up, as it’s likely to be DWP. We will of course ensure that you know the call is genuine.

Please note, there are scams preying on people, so do not share information if you’re not sure the call is from DWP. If you are in any doubt, please ask the caller to post a specific form of words into your journal so you can be sure it’s us.

If you need to claim Universal Credit or ESA because of coronavirus, you will not be required to produce a fit note.

If you are affected by coronavirus you will be able to apply for Universal Credit and can receive up to a month’s advance upfront without physically attending a job Centre.

If you are suffering from coronavirus – or have been advised to stay at home in line with government guidelines – and want to apply for ESA, the usual 7 waiting days for new claimants will not apply. ESA will be payable from day one.

For more information about any aspect of Universal Credit, including how to make a claim, visit Understanding Universal Credit.

The latest information and support available from the government for businesses

Click here for more information

The latest information from ACAS provides support and resources information for employers and employees in light of COVID-19.

Click here for more information

ACAS has its own coronavirus section that will provide information regarding your workplace, employment and rights in relation to COVID-19. They offer confidential advice.

Click here to access ACAS website

The government has created a dedicated page for COVID-19 with publications where you can access information about SSP, Benefits, Furlough Status and other financial services that may be available to you during this difficult time.

Click here to access GOV website

As a member of our association, you can take advantage of our legal helpline where you can speak to one of our legal advisors on all maters professional and personal. This helpline is available only to BADN members

Click here for Legal Helpline

Our independent accountants, Jones Harris has prepared more information about the Furlough Scheme, recently introducted by the Government to aid businesses and continue to pay employees.

Click here for for more information