Most people agree the new lockdown was essential. But it seems certain it will put more pressure on the economy. Which means more redundancies and new jobs even harder to find.
If you can’t work from home, furlough may be helping your employer keep you on the payroll – for now anyway. But more businesses are finding government help isn’t enough.
Have you or has someone you know recently been made redundant? Or maybe you think the furlough scheme is just staving off the inevitable?
We may also be able to help you find local schemes set up for people in your situation. Even if the way ahead seems clear, it’s worth checking…. as Anna’s experience shows.
Anna* had been a bar manager for 2 years, but furloughed for 6 months because they couldn’t offer the ‘substantial meal’ they needed to stay open. Eventually the owner gave her notice and 2 weeks’ redundancy pay.
The terms of her redundancy seemed ok and her friend urged her to apply for Universal Credit straightaway. There would be a 5-week wait for her first payment and it might be even longer in this crisis?
Anna started to make a claim online and was about to submit it when she thought she would check with Citizens Advice. She called her local CA Adviceline and heard she should check her situation with an online benefit calculator.
The calculator showed she would NOT be eligible for Universal Credit – her live-in partner earned too much. But they would also LOSE their working tax credits which were a vital source of extra income.
Our adviser helped Anna to claim new-style Jobseekers Allowance instead of UC. This would support her for the first 6 months. We suggested she contact her mortgage provider to request a payment ‘holiday’. And we gave her the contact details of a hub in her area that was giving practical and emotional help to unemployed people.
* *Name changed