This is something happening to many people at the moment, particularly in those sectors most impacted by the virus. The good news is that if this has happened to you, you are likely to be eligible for assistance via the government’s new “job retention scheme”. The scheme can support for up to 80% of your previous pay (capped at £2,500 per Month) for qualifying workers, and is likely to be available even if you are on a zero hours contract (If this is the case, previous average earnings will be used to determine how much you can get from the scheme)
To access the scheme, you need to talk to your employer, who would need to designate you as “furloughed” . Your reduced pay would be paid by your employer, who would then reclaim the money from the scheme. If you think you might be eligible for the scheme, contact your employer in the first instance
If you are accepted onto the scheme, the amount that you will receive is 80% of the greater of your average earnings over the last 12 Months, or your earnings in the same Month last year. Overtime and contractual commission payments are included in the figure, although discretionary bonuses and commission is not. And if your income is reduced, it is worth checking if you can qualify for benefits . To get an idea of what you might be entitled to, you can use a benefit calculator such as the one at https://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk/free (this is actually a basic version of the calculator our own teams use, and others are available as well). Alternatively (or if you would like some help after you run a calculation), you can contact our financial inclusion team on 0208 768 7925 or by email at Jherbert@hexagon.org.uk .Although it might take a bit longer than usual to respond to queries, we are still here to help.