Coronavirus is significantly impacting jobs across all industries as the government has understandably ordered all non-essential businesses to close to reduce the spread of the virus.
If you work in a sector that has been impacted by coronavirus, here’s a rundown of the financial support available to you and advice on how to find another job.
Financial support if you’ve lost your job
The UK government has announced several new initiatives, alongside existing measures, to financially support those who have lost their jobs – or are facing the prospect of losing their job – because of coronavirus:
If a business needs to close as a result of the virus, the UK government has announced that it will pay 80% of employees’ gross wages, up to £2,500 per month per employee, for three months (with a possible extension if needed). Employers can ‘top-up’ the government payment to match your salary if they choose to.
This scheme is available on the condition that employers reassign employees as ‘furloughed workers’. This effectively means you’re given a leave of absence and are brought back into the workforce.
If you’ve already been laid off, speak to your employer and ask if they’re open to taking you back on and reassign you as a furloughed worker.
If your employer has decided to make your job redundant, despite the government’s assurance to cover 80% of employee’s wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, you may be entitled to a redundancy pay-out from your employer or through the government scheme.
The majority of employers have their own redundancy scheme, if yours doesn’t and you’ve worked with them for two years or more, you may be entitled to claim:
- Half a week’s pay for each full year you worked with the company while you were under 22 years old
- One week’s pay for each full year you worked with the company while you were aged between 22 – 41 years old
- 1.5 week’s pay for each full year you worked with the company while you were aged 41 or above
Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is available to people who have a disability or a health condition that affects how much they can work. It’s intended to cover living costs if you’re unable to work or to support you back into work if you’re well enough to do so.
If you’re self-employed, or a member of a partnership, and have lost income due to coronavirus you can claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next three months (with a possible extension if needed). It’s worth noting that payments under this scheme are due to be paid as a lump sum from the start of June.
If by losing your job your income has dropped significantly, you may be entitled to claim Universal Credit. This is a means-tested benefit – so it takes into account things like savings, the number of children you have and income of your partner.
People who have lost their jobs due to coronavirus are being instructed to claim online for Universal Credit now as it can take up to five weeks for it to be processed, though the government is working hard to reduce this time.
However, if you’re struggling financially you may be eligible to receive an advanced payment, meaning some money will be with you within five days.
Losing a job puts a large strain on everyday life. To help ease the burden a little, the chancellor announced that a Mortgage Payment Holiday Scheme will be available to people who find they’re struggling to pay their mortgage.
Under this scheme, homeowners can freeze mortgage payments for three months, with lenders instructed not to charge fees for this duration.
There’s also financial help available for renters too. An increase has been made to the local housing allowance so that it now covers 30% of the market rent in your local area. This will be made available as part of Universal Credit.
Also included in the Coronavirus Bill is a change to the amount of time a landlord must give a tenant for repossessing the property – increasing from two to three months.
Local councils have been given a £500 million hardship fund to reduce council tax bills for vulnerable people who receive local council tax support.
Your employer may have told you that your job is safe for the moment but that they’re going to have to reduce your hours. If so, you may be able to claim ‘guarantee pay’.
Currently, up to £29 per day is payable for those who are entitled to it. However, the scheme only pays out for five days in any three month period.
Keep up to date with changes to these schemes and allowances by checking the .gov.uk website.
A number of companies have put a freeze on recruitment because of the uncertainty around how the virus will impact their business, yet a number of companies are still hiring and, due to the current climate, the majority of these roles are on a remote basis.
Jobs such as Sales Executives / Managers, Online Customer Service Advisors, Virtual Assistants and others, can all be successfully carried out remotely.
If you’ve got experience in these fields or have transferable skills that can be applied to these roles, visit our Job section to see which companies are currently hiring.
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While some sectors are having to let people go, others are ramping up hiring to help manage the increase in demand for their services.
Of course, trained medical personnel, particularly nurses and doctors are in high demand to help care for patients during the Coronavirus pandemic. The NHS has put a call out for retired medical staff to volunteer for behind the scenes work to support those who are treating patients.
Supermarkets are incredibly busy at the moment and many are hiring temporary customer service advisors to carry out duties such as working on the tills, putting out stock, helping to organise the stockroom or assist customers.
If you’ve worked in retail or another customer-facing sector, such as hospitality and leisure, your skills are in high demand at the moment. Make sure you highlight them on your CV or application as supermarket hiring managers are looking for people who can quickly settle into the job.
With schools and colleges closed, parents now find themselves in the position of having to homeschool their children, which is an extra level of stress. As such, there’s been an increase in demand for online tutors across core subjects like Maths, English and Science.
See which companies are currently hiring and check their Glassdoor company review to see what it’s like to work for them.
Losing your job can be an incredibly stressful experience, particularly if you have dependents who are financially reliant on you. It can also affect you emotionally, impacting your physical and mental well-being as well as your confidence.
To support you through this challenging time, the Glassdoor blog contains a wealth of expert career advice ranging from what to include in a CV through to interview tips – so you’re armed with the advice you need to land your next role quickly.