24 March 2020 02:31
WORKERS whose jobs have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak can work out how much Universal Credit they're entitled to by using a free online calculator. The government has already announced a package of new measures to help households cope if their income is affected by self-isolation. ⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates 2 Turn2Us has updated its Universal Credit calculator to include those who have been affected by coronavirus Credit: Turn2Us The Universal Credit minimum income floor (MIF) will be temporarily removed for self-employed workers who will lose income if they have to self-isolate. Chancellor Rishi Sunak also said that the government will raise the standard allowance element of Universal Credit and working tax credit by £1,000 a year each. Anti-poverty charity Turn2Us has updated its benefits calculator to help those whose income maybe affected by the outbreak to work out how much they may be entitled to on benefits.
It includes six new questions that will help work out how much better off you will be claiming welfare, such as Employee Support Allowance (ESA), Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) and Universal Credit. 2 The calculator now includes six new questions, as well as the other information that you'll also need to fill out Credit: Turn2Us As well as basic information about income and savings, you will need to include information about whether you are currently suffering from the virus, have worked in the past two years and whether you usually earn at least £118 per week. The calculator can be used by those who are already claiming Universal Credit to see how their benefit payments may change, as well as ew claimants. If you're new to claiming Universal Credit, it's worth noting that you will have to wait up to five weeks before receiving your first payment. The charity says that it will update its calculator as soon as the new rules come into force.
Mr Sunak's hopes his new coronavirus job retention scheme will keep more than one million people in work when the outbreak is over - the single biggest act by a government to protect workers. The scheme will initially be open for three months and will allow workers to backdate missing pay to March 1. Staff would remain on the payroll during the period that their company receives the government grant. If you've already been cut from your employers payroll, you may be able to get help from the benefit system. Your employer can ask you to stay at home, cut your hours, or take unpaid leave if there's not enough work for you. If this is the case, you're entitled to statutory lay-off pay, as long as you've ben continuously employed for one month, not refused work and not been laid off due to industrial action. There's no limit on how long you can be laid off or have your hours reduced for but you could apply for redundancy if you receive less than half a week's pay for four weeks in a row or six weeks out of work in a 13-week period. Some local councils also offer financial help to those struggling to pay their bills, sometimes in the form of a government loan. Most read in money DIE STREET All 'non-essential' shops closed from tonight - full list of what can open Latest ONLINE ONLY Online shopping & deliveries continue despite 'non-essential' shops lockdown DON'T MILK IT Tesco scraps skimmed milk and multi-pack offers to meet huge demand CORONA CRISIS Coronavirus - how can self-employed get help with wages or bills? The average self-employed household will be up to £780 a month worse off due to the coronavirus outbreak – unless they receive extra help from the government, a poverty charity has warned. Turn2us has reported a 1,800% increase in self-employed workers using its online benefits calculator in the last week since chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, where 80% of a worker's wage will be guaranteed by government. The scheme does not include support for self-employed workers, which means that many self-employed people in need of financial assistance currently have no other option than to apply for Universal Credit. Universal Credit claimants typically have to wait at least five weeks to receive their first payment. Analysis by the charity found on average, each self-employed household will see their take home pay reduced by £781 per month, if they have to claim Universal Credit, compared to an 80% wage guarantee. A couple with no children would be £910 a month worse off than under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. The charity said 3.3 million self-employed households will have to make the decision between a huge cut in earnings or continuing to work and endangering the lives of vulnerable people in their local community. The government is reportedly working on plans to include self-employed workers in the emergency measures. David Samson, welfare benefits specialist, at Turn2us, said: "The exclusion from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme creates a huge disparity between salaried workers and the self-employed, penalising self-employed people by hundreds of pounds simply because of the nature of their employment. "We urge the government to put in place measures to ensure self-employed workers are protected from the economic repercussions of coronavirus on an equal footing with employees. Current coronavirus support announced for self-employed people: The husband of former model and Emmerdale actress Linda Lusardi has issued an update on his wife's condition, as she battles COVID-19. It comes after the 61-year-old former Page 3 girl said she had "never felt so ill EVER" after getting the deadly bug. Sam Kane, 51, was hospitalised on Friday along with his wife and shared an update on Facebook on Monday, urging people to take the self isolation rules seriously, as reported by the Sun. The other one ripping your heart out of your chest and it just doesn't stop... "Please stop going out. But Sam said Linda appeared to be "stable" on Friday. "We are taking it one-day-at-a-time, that's all we can do. Actress Tina Malone said: "SENDING LOVE AND BEST WISHES TO YOU AND LINDA XXXXX." Sam shared a heartbreaking update about wife Linda's condition (via Getty) Sports Direct has said it will keep its stores open, despite new curbs aimed at limiting the spread of the coronavirus. Under new measures announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, all UK shops selling non-essential goods have been ordered to close immediately. Among those staying open are petrol stations, supermarkets and pharmacies. But Sports Direct said it would remain open "where possible" as it was "uniquely well placed to help keep the UK as fit and healthy as possible". Bicycle shops are on the list of retailers that are allowed to stay open during the shutdown. A host of High Street retailers and food chains, such as Ikea, John Lewis and Next, had already shut prior to Mr Johnson's announcement on Sunday evening, leaving tens of thousands of people temporarily without work. Mr Johnson said: "I know the damage that this disruption is doing and will do to people's lives, to their businesses and to their jobs. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Primark said on Sunday it planned to close all its stores Retailers that will be allowed to stay open include: Businesses will still be able to take online orders and deliver items to people's homes. The government this week said it would pay the wages of employees unable to work due to the coronavirus pandemic, in a move aimed at protecting people's jobs. It will pay 80% of salary for staff who are kept on by their employer, covering wages of up to £2,500 a month. Helen Dickinson, chief executive of retail lobby group the British Retail Consortium, said many shops had already closed temporarily. "Any retailers that remain open will be following the very latest government public health guidance to ensure they do everything they can to ensure the safety of customers and staff." The government had already ordered pubs, restaurants and cafes to close amid concerns that people were ignoring its advice to keep social contact to a minimum. Many of the big brands to have already announced closures have promised to pay their staff for several weeks until the government's Coronavirus job retention scheme kicks in. However, concern is growing about the millions of self-employed and gig economy workers who will be forced to rely on benefits in the absence of targeted support. Neil Carberry, boss of lobby group the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, said the announcement reinforced the need for businesses and workers to access government support measures "as quickly as possible". "With the economy and jobs market in lockdown, all employers can do is stand by their staff as far as possible and reap the benefits during the post-crisis comeback," he added.