Government advice for individuals


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Sickness


SSP


Who is this applicable to?
United Kingdom.

Employed.

What is this about?
Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for up to 28 weeks if you are too ill to work or self isolating due to coronavirus.

Overview
You can get £94.25 per week Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for up to 28 weeks, due to illness or self isolation because of coronavirus. This includes individuals who are caring for people in the same household and therefore have been advised to do a household quarantine. New legislation has been put in place to allow SSP to be paid from day one of illness or absence due to COVID-19 and is paid by your employer in the same way as your normal wages. Tax and National Insurance will be deducted. This has been in effect since 13th March 2020.

What if I am not eligible for SSP?
If you are not eligible for SSP – for example if you are self-employed or earning below the Lower Earnings Limit of £118 per week – and you have COVID-19 or are advised to self-isolate, you can now more easily make a claim for Universal Credit (UC) or new style Employment and Support Allowance.

What can you do now?
To check your sick pay entitlement, you should talk to your employer, and visit the government's Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) page for more information.

You may be entitled to SSP if you are on a zero hours contract so it is advised to check with your employer if you’re unsure.

You should discuss the deadline for informing your employer of illness or isolation and how you should tell them.

If you have COVID-19 or are self isolating you you can get an ‘isolation note’ by visiting NHS 111 online. For COVID-19 related cases the isolation note replaces the need to provide a fit note after seven days of absence. Check if your employer requires any additional information.

What next?
You should talk to your employer if you are eligible for SSP and need to claim or If you think you are not getting the right amount of SSP. If you’re still not happy, contact the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) enquiry line on 0300 200 3500.

We will monitor guidance in this area and update this page with any changes (date reviewed: 24/03/2020).

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Financial services and support


Furloughed workers


Who is this applicable to?
UK Employed

What is this about?
Support for employees who would otherwise be laid off during the coronavirus situation.

Overview
If your employer is unable to cover your employment costs during the coronavirus outbreak they may be able to access support from the government to continue paying part (up to 80%) of your wage (up to a cap of £2,500 per month) and avoid redundancies.

If your employer intends to access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, they will discuss with you becoming classified as a furloughed worker.

You will remain employed while furloughed but to remain eligible you should not undertake work for them while you are furloughed. Your employer could choose to fund the differences between this 80% payment and your 100% salary, but does not have to.

What can you do now?
If your employer has declared that you will be made a furloughed worker, they will confirm this with you. You should not undertake work for them while you are furloughed, to ensure that you qualify for this scheme.

If you have not heard from your employer, make contact with them to see if they are going to declare you as a furloughed worker.

If your salary is reduced as a result of these changes, you may be eligible for support through the welfare system, including Universal Credit (see our guidance on how to access Universal Credit).

What next
The government has expressed they intend the scheme to run for at least 3 months from 1 March 2020, but will extend if necessary.

We will monitor guidance in this area and update this page with any changes (date reviewed: 24/03/2020).

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https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-guidance-for-employees

Tax grants for self-employed workers


Who is this applicable to?
Self-employed individuals in the UK

What is this about?
Taxable cash grant worth 80% of your average monthly trading profit over the last three years, up to £2,500 per month.

Overview
The government has announced an income support package for individuals who are self-employed, with a trading profit of less than £50,000 in 2018-19, or an average trading profit of less than £50,000 from 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19. To qualify for the scheme more than half of your income in these periods must have come from self-employment.

As part of this scheme you will get a direct cash grant of 80% of your average monthly trading profit over the last three years, up to £2,500 per month.

This scheme will cover the three months to May. Grants will be paid in a single lump sum instalment covering all 3 months and will start to be paid at the beginning of June.

To be eligible for the scheme as a self-employed individual you:
  • Must have submitted your Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018 to 2019.
  • Must have traded in the tax year 2019 to 2020.
  • Must be trading when you apply, or would be except for coronavirus.
  • Intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021
  • Have lost trading profits due to coronavirus.

What can you do now?
If you have not submitted your Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018 to 2019, you must do this by 23 April 2020 or you will not be able to claim.

You do not need to do anything. HMRC will identify eligible taxpayers and contact them directly with guidance on how to apply.

As grant payments will not be made until June, you will still be able to access other available government support for those affected by coronavirus, including more generous universal credit.

What next?
Individuals should not contact HMRC now. HMRC will use existing information to check potential eligibility and invite applications once the scheme is operational. Once HMRC has received your claim and your grant is approved, they will contact you to tell you how much you’ll get and the payment details

You will only be able to claim using the GOV.UK online service. If you receive texts, calls or emails claiming to be from HMRC, offering financial help or a tax refund and asking you to click on a link or to give personal information, it is a scam.

Further information and details of the scheme will be shared shortly by HMRC so we will monitor guidance in this area and update this page with any changes (date reviewed: 14/04/2020).

READ MORE
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-schemehttps://www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-gives-support-to-millions-of-self-employed-individuals

Universal credit


Who is this applicable to?
United Kingdom

Self-Employed, Unemployed

What is this about?
This is financial support for self-employed individuals who have COVID-19 or are self isolating under guidance and are unable to receive SSP, or individuals (self-employed or unemployed) who are unable to access work due to enforced closures as a result of government action.

Overview
Universal Credit is a payment to help with your living costs. It’s paid monthly - or twice a month for some people in Scotland.

To help support self-employed individuals who are unable to work due to having COVID-19 or have been advised to stay home, or individuals (self-employed or unemployed) who are unable to access work due to enforced closures as a result of government action, the Universal Credit Minimum Income Floor will be temporarily relaxed and will last for the duration of the outbreak.

What can you do now?
You can apply for universal credit online by visiting https://www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit.

Before you apply you should check your eligibility and what you are entitled to if you live in England, Scotland and Wales or Northern Ireland.

To apply you will need:
  • Your bank, building society or credit union account details (call the Universal Credit helpline if you do not have one).
  • An email address.
  • Information about your housing, for example how much rent you pay.
  • Details of your income, for example payslips.
  • Details of savings and any investments, like shares or a property that you rent out.
  • Details of how much you pay for childcare if you’re applying for help with childcare costs.

What next?
You can find out more about universal credit by visiting

The following phone lines are designed to help with your queries on Universal Credit:

Telephone: 0800 328 5644
Welsh language: 0800 328 1744

CIMSPA along with Sport England, UK Active, Community Leisure UK, DCMS and others have written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak to request urgent additional measures to be put in place to provide financial support for the estimated 60,000 workers in the sector who are self-employed.

More information can be found on our website www.cimspa.co.uk/together.

CIMSPA We will monitor guidance in this area and update this page with any changes (date reviewed: 24/03/2020).

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Employment and support allowance


Who is this applicable to?
United Kingdom.

Self-Employed, Unemployed.

What is this about?
Financial support for self-employed individuals who have COVID-19 or are self isolating under guidance are unable to receive SSP.

Overview
New Style Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is a contributory benefit, paid fortnightly that can provide eligible individuals, who are ill or self-isolating due to coronavirus. New legislation means this is payable from day one of your sickness rather than the usual day eight.

This will be:
  • up to £58.90 a week if you’re aged under 25
  • up to £74.35 a week if you’re aged 25 or over

If it takes longer than 13 weeks to assess your claim, you’ll continue getting the ‘assessment rate’ until you get a decision. 

What can you do now?
To apply for ESA you need to fill out the NSESAF1 claim form.

Contact the DWP Online helpdesk for further information.

Phone: 0800 169 0154
Email: dwponline.helpdesk@dwp.gsi.gov.uk

What next?
CIMSPA along with Sport England, UK Active, Community Leisure UK, DCMS and others have written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak to request urgent additional measures to be put in place to provide financial support for the estimated 60,000 workers in the sector who are self-employed. More information can be found on our website www.cimspa.co.uk/together.

CIMSPA is awaiting a response from Chancellor Rishi Sunak and will share the feedback as it arrives.

The following phone lines are designed to help with your queries on Employment and Support Allowance.

Telephone: 0800 328 5644
Welsh language: 0800 328 1744

We will monitor guidance in this area and update this page with any changes (date reviewed: 24/03/2020).

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£500 million hardship fund


Who is this applicable to?
England.

Employed, Self-Employed, Unemployed.

What is this about?
Local authorities in England can access funding to help support vulnerable people through the coronavirus outbreak.

Overview
£500 million 'hardship fund' was announced by new Chancellor Rishi Sunak to allow local authorities to support vulnerable individuals throughout the current situation.

Most of this funding will be used to provide more Council Tax relief, either through existing Local Council Tax Support schemes, or through similar measures.

What can you do now?
If you have any questions about eligibility for and access of the £500 million hardship fund support, please contact your local authority.

You can find your local authority by visiting https://www.gov.uk/find-local-council.

What next?
The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) will set out more detail on this funding, including allocations, shortly.

We will monitor guidance in this area and update this page with any changes (date reviewed: 24/03/2020).

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Mortgage and rental holiday


Who is this applicable to?
United Kingdom.

Employed, Self-Employed, Unemployed.

What is this about?
Suspension of mortgage repayments.

Overview
Mortgage lenders are to offer 3 month repayment holidays for households in financial difficulty due to COVID-19. This means individuals will not be required to make mortgage repayments during the holiday period.

This will also apply to landlords whose tenants are experiencing financial difficulties because of COVID-19.

What can you do now?
If you are concerned about your current financial situation you should contact your lender at the earliest possible opportunity to discuss if this is a suitable option for you.

If you are a tenant experiencing financial difficulties because of COVID-19, the government will ensure you do not face the threat of eviction for at least three months. You should speak to your landlord at the earliest convenience.

What next?
You may be able to access support for rent costs through Universal Credit. From April 2020, the government is increasing Local Housing Allowance rates to the 30th percentile of market rents. This applies to all private renters who are new or existing Universal Credit housing element claimants, and to existing Housing Benefit claimants.

To check your eligibility please visit https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit.

We will monitor guidance in this area and update this page with any changes (date reviewed: 24/03/2020).

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Personal loan and credit card repayment issues


Who is this applicable to?
United Kingdom.

Employed, Self-Employed, Unemployed.

What is this about?
Access to support with loan and credit card repayment.

Overview
Lenders have been asked to use flexibility built into their rules to support consumers, taking into account customers’ individual circumstances.

Many major lenders have already made statements to this effect.

What can you do now?
If you are experiencing difficulties you should contact your lender.

What next?
We will monitor guidance in this area and update this page with any changes (date reviewed: 24/03/2020).

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Support for individuals through temporarily deferring income tax payments


Who is this applicable to?
United Kingdom.

Self-Employed.

What is this about?
Deferral of income tax payments due in July 2020 for the self-employed.

Overview
If you are self-employed, Income Tax payments due on the 31st July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred until 31st January 2021. No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged in the deferral period.

What can you do now?
You do not need to do anything. This is automatic, with no applications required.

What next?
We will monitor guidance in this area and update this page with any changes (date reviewed: 24/03/2020).

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