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Redundancy may threaten thousands of people in the UK and the world over this year, as the coronavirus keeps nearly everyone confined indoors. Thankfully for those who find themselves struggling, the unprecedented crisis has brought unprecedented financial aid.
If I lost my job because of coronavirus what payments am I eligible for?
The government has enabled sweeping financial aids during the coronavirus to ensure people don’t lose out from not working.
They have advised all “non-essential” businesses to close, meaning thousands of people in the hospitality and retail sector may now find themselves without work.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced people without work have access the full roster of benefits at their disposal.
However, some services may insist on conducting appointments over the phone.
Some companies may find they need to lay off some of their workers to cut costs of COVID-19, but the government has advised them not to.
Instead, the government has advised they keep their workers on payroll and to take advantage of a newly announced assistance scheme.
Paul Kelly, Partner and Head of Employment at Blacks Solicitors, said: “Whilst there is no government guidance on this it is likely that if you have been already been made redundant because of the coronavirus following 1 March, your employer may be able to reinstate you and then furlough you so as to make you eligible for payments under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
“If you have received a redundancy notice from your employer then your employer could, with your consent, withdraw this notice and then classify you as furloughed (again you would need to consent to this).”
Michael Redston, Employment Law Solicitor at Aaron & Partners, added: “Anyone who has been made redundant is no longer an employee and is not entitled to any further payment.
“However, because the announcement of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was made so suddenly and urgently, some employers who had already made staff recently redundant are contacting them and offering to revoke their termination and put those staff on furlough.
“The Scheme allows for backdating of furlough pay to 1 March 2020, so it may well be reasonable for a redundant employee who was dismissed after this date to ask to be furloughed. But furlough can only be done by agreement with the employer and there is no obligation on them to agree.”
The Employee Assistance Scheme was announced last week by Rishi Sunak and would see the government pay up to 80 percent of people’s salaries.
Employers who want to take advantage of the scheme need to keep their workers on payroll, and the government would then cover most of their salary.
The scheme offers up to £2,500 per month, and there would be no limit to the assistance available.
He added it would be open for at least three months.