Due to COVID-19 businesses all around the world are suffering and struggling. Which has resulted in thousands of people around the world being laid off, or being told to put ‘short-time working’ or taking unpaid holiday leave. Now it’s very important to understand the circumstances are different in every country. Now, this post has been written for those in the UK who fall under these circumstances.

1) Is it legal?

Check your contract. This is incredibly important in any employment dispute. You can only be laid off or put on a short-time working if it specifically says so on your contract. Even if it’s not mentioned its important to know that your employer can’t do this to you.

2) Can the Unions help?

If you’re a member your union should be able to help you work this out if you’re not too sure. The union should be able to help you it may also help to talk to your colleagues if you’re not sure about the functioning of your company.

3) Check guarantee pay

You may be lucky and your contract may entitle you to “contractual guarantee pay”. This means that the employer may be obliged to pay you each week while your laid off/ on short-time working. Now even if there is no contractual guarantee pay you might still be able to get some sort of statutory guarantee pay. However, you must be working there for at least a month and be earning less than half of your normal pay.

4) Claiming benefits or redundancy pay

Now you may able to claim either redundancy pay or/and benefits if you have been either been laid off or put on short-time working you may find that you are entitled to any of the following:

  1. New Job Seekers Allowance
  2. New Style Employment and Support Allowance
  3. Universal Credit
  4. Council Tax Support
  5. Help with your mortgage if you qualify your Universal Credit

Now it’s very important that contact and check the citizen advice bureaus website and other services. We hope this has managed to give you a short insight into what you can do during these hard times.


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