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COVID-19: We have answered some of our customer's most frequently asked questions
Unless if you’ve been living under a rock this past month (which ironically probably isn’t a bad idea considering) you’ll be well aware of the effect coronavirus is having on our society. As well as infecting numerous people in the UK, we’ve seen panic buying, event cancellations, and self-isolation.
Although coronavirus – thankfully – has a low fatality rate, the worst-case estimation states that as many as 80% of us could contract it. This means, chances are, you will probably fall ill over the next few months.
In the most likely scenario, you’ll probably have to self-isolate. For many, this doesn’t sound like a bad deal. After all, two weeks staying at home with Netflix gives you time to catch up on all those boxsets you’ve been putting off.
However, for many, this raises a very important question: What happens to my income?
According to an economic forecaster, the temporary closure of businesses due to coronavirus will cost the global economy $1.1tn. Shutting down a company due to a virial outbreak is something no employer wants, but it could be worse for you. After all, statutory sick pay of £94.25 per week – for many people – will barely make ends meet.
Freelancers have it worse due to a lack of demand. It’s been reported some self-employed individuals have seen their monthly incomes decline by as much as 75% since coronavirus came to the UK. Due to their employment status, these professionals aren’t even eligible for sick pay.
Consequently, this pause in earning could see many getting into debt.
If you come down with coronavirus, you are entitled to your workplace’s usual sick leave and pay entitlements. However, if your employer tells you not to come into work, you should still be entitled to your standard pay.
If your typical sick pay won’t pay the bills, then you may also be entitled to claim Employment and Support Allowance or Universal Credit to boost your income.
Finally, if you have relevant insurance (such as critical illness cover) this could replace part of your income.
If these options won’t provide you with the funds you need, you might be able to continue working from home.
One interesting thing about the coronavirus is how it’s forcing employees around the world to work remotely. Goldman Sachs, General Motors, Apple, Facebook – big companies such as these are now instructing their employees to work from home if they can.
In fact, almost half of businesses in the United States have recently implemented similar policies due to the coronavirus.
If your employer will let you work from home during self-isolation, this seems like the ideal way to ensure the money keeps coming in. Chances are, as this keeps work going as well, your manager will be quite happy to approve such a policy.
There are still so many things we don’t know about the coronavirus, but one thing is quite certain. If millions of Britons need to stay home, this will have a detrimental effect on the economy and our earnings. If your employer isn’t flexible with sickness policies or won’t allow you to work from home, you may need to investigate a personal loan or other solution to make ends meet.
This may just be an expense you’ll have to write off as ‘bad luck caused by a pandemic’. Once the virus blows over though, we’ll be on hand on help you regain control of your finances again.
Debt write off applies to unsecured debts and on completion of an IVA. A debt write off amount of between 20% and 80% is realistic, however the debt write off amount for each customer differs depending upon their individual financial circumstances and is subject to the approval of their creditors.
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Free money help and advice can be found at the MoneyAdviceService.org.uk