10 things to know if you have been put on leave, including when you will be paid and if you can get another job – the sun


Millions of workers receive a large part of their wages paid by the government as the country fights against coronavirus.

The scheme is called leave and is part of the Chancellor’s Coronavirus job retention program.

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 Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced leave plan to keep one million workers busy1
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced leave plan to keep one million workers busyCredits: Getty Images – Getty

Rishi Sunak launched the rescue program shortly after Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered the closure of all non-essential stores, pubs and theaters.

It’s about stopping the spread of COVID-19 to ease the pressure on the NHS.

But many companies find it difficult to stay afloat during the lockout, even though they are still allowed to operate, and therefore staff “on leave”.

Here we’re explaining 10 key questions you might have about being put on leave from the time you get paid to find out if you are eligible for a second job during the program.

1. What does leave mean?

The government’s job retention program aims to prevent one million workers from becoming unemployed due to the blockade.

Under the program, the government will pay 80 percent – up to £ 2,500 per month – of the salary of an employee who cannot work due to the impact of the coronavirus.

Workers will be kept on the payroll rather than being laid off.


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The government will pay employers’ national insurance premiums for associated employers and additional retirement contributions for self-enrolled employers.

The program lasts at least three months and can be backdated to March 1, 2020, but can be extended if necessary.

It is available to all employers who have started a PAYE payroll system by February 28, 2020.

If you are between two jobs, started in a new workplace or were laid off after February 28, you can ask your former employer to re-hire you to be eligible for the program.

Employers can choose to supplement the wages of workers on leave with the remaining 20 per cent, but they do not have to.

Companies wishing to access the program will need to speak to their employees before putting them on leave.

During their leave, staff must not undertake any work for their employer during the program.

2. When will the money be paid?

The government pays your wages through a subsidy to your employers.

Although the leave plan will be retroactive to March 1, the portal your employer will use to record your leave status will not be operational until the end of April.

Employers can choose to pay you 80% of your salary on time as you normally would and then collect it when you open the portal at the end of the month, but they don’t have to.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announces continued coronavirus program to pay wages of workers affected by business closures

If your employer cannot pay you now or refuses to pay you, you will have to wait until your employer can register.

Households struggling with a sudden drop in income may be able to get help through the state social protection system.

You can find more information about Universal Credit here, including how to apply, when to apply, and how much help you can get.

You can also ask your bank for three-month mortgage leave, or ask your credit card or loan provider for space if you can’t make repayments due to coronavirus.

Another alternative to consider is to apply for one of the 70,000 new jobs created due to the impact of COVID-19.

3. How does the leave affect annual leave?

Employees who have not taken up their full statutory vacation entitlement due to a coronavirus will be able to carry over up to four weeks of unused vacation leave over the next two years of vacation leave.

Full-time employees working a five-day week must receive 28 days – or 5.6 weeks – of paid annual leave.

Part-time staff are also entitled to 5.6 weeks paid annual leave, but this will be less than 28 days.

For example, if you work three days a week, you are entitled to 16.8 days off per year (3 × 5.6) because that is the length of your work week.

Many employers adopt a “use it or lose it” policy and don’t let staff defer it.

They also have a legal obligation to ensure that employees take their statutory rights over the course of a year or face financial penalty.

But the new regulations prevail over this to allow key workers to continue working in the face of the coronavirus shutdown without losing their annual vacation.

It also relieves pressure on key companies that may be short of personnel in the fight against COVID-19, such as in the food and health care sectors.

Employers must, however, give staff the opportunity to take their annual vacation at a later date and cannot replace it with a payment in lieu of it unless the worker leaves their job.

4. Can I be put on leave if I have more than one job?

If you have more than one employer, you can be on leave for both jobs.

Therefore, if you are put on leave by two employers, you are eligible for government assistance of up to £ 5,000 per month.

Who can be put on leave?

ANY UK employer can apply for the leave scheme, including companies, charities, recruitment agencies and public authorities.

Employers as diverse as easyJet and the Premier League clubs Newcastle and Tottenham have already put some of their employees on leave.

However, the government has no plans to pay large sums of money to public sector workers because they believe that most will continue to provide essential services.

When employers receive public funding for staff costs, they will have to continue using these funds to pay staff rather than requesting the leave scheme.

If you work reduced hours and wages, you will not be eligible for the leave and it will be up to your employer to pay you normally.

You must have created and started a PAYE payroll system by February 28, 2020 and have a UK bank account.

Each job is separate and the £ 2,500 ceiling applies specifically to each employer.

You can also continue to work while on leave for another.

5. Can you work elsewhere if you have been on leave?

The government has not made it clear that you cannot accept other employment while on leave.

But first you need to talk to your employer, as you are still technically working for them.

Some contracts may prohibit employees from returning to other work, but this can be the subject of negotiations.

You should also be aware that earning a second salary can affect the amount of tax you pay, which will affect your net salary.

6. Can I volunteer or train while on leave?

A worker on leave may participate in voluntary work or training provided that this does not generate income for his employer.

If a worker on leave is required to take, for example, an online training course, his employer will be required to pay him for the hours spent on training.

But you can join the army of thousands of NHS volunteers to help the health service with tasks such as delivering drugs to pharmacies, driving patients to appointments, and making regular phone calls to check on them. isolated people at home.

7. Can I get my leave if I am on maternity leave?

Employees benefiting from the 39 weeks of statutory maternity pay (SMP) imposed by the government must always be paid by their employer.

This covers six weeks paid at 90 percent of weekly earnings, followed by £ 148.68 or 90 percent of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower) for the next 33 weeks.

Anything your business pays you in addition to this amount can be covered by the government leave scheme up to £ 2,500 per month.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak tells self-employed workers “You have not been forgotten” as he announces they will get 80% of their profits during the coronavirus pandemic

8. What if I am on sick leave or on leave without pay?

The sick days you take should always be covered by your employer.

But, if you are not allowed to work under government restrictions on coronaviruses, they will be paid as usual under the leave plan.

9. Can I be put on leave if I am between two jobs?

If you have recently left a job and started, or are about to start a new job, you can still join the program.

But to get a leave, the company you worked for on February 28 will have to be the one that will roll you over.

This means that if you are not currently on a payroll or if you have already been hired by a new employer, you will have to ask the old company to re-hire you.

Unfortunately, companies cannot be forced to rehire you, so this is not an option for everyone.

10. Can I still be laid off if I am on leave?

Even if the leave is designed to keep workers busy, it unfortunately does not protect you against layoffs.

However, this does not affect your rights to severance pay if you are dismissed.

Your employer must always perform a fair termination process.

If you have been working somewhere for at least two years, you will first have the right to be consulted about the dismissal and to receive statutory dismissal compensation.

The amount to which you are entitled depends on your age and seniority, although this amount is limited to 20 years. You will have:

  • Half a week’s salary for each full year under 22,
  • One week’s salary for each full year of 22 years or more, but less than 41 years,
  • One and a half weeks’ salary for each full year 41 or older.

There should be a collective consultation period as well as time for individual consultations if your employer wants to fire 20 or more employees within 90 days or between them.

You also have the right to appeal the decision on the grounds of unfair dismissal within three months of your dismissal.


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