This page was last updated on 24 March at 14.55
UNISON – There For You
UNISON is responding to the national coronavirus crisis by offering practical help to members experiencing financial hardship. Staff at the union’s dedicated charity, There for You, are seeking to reassure members that they are still offering a service to them. The team at There for You is fully committed to providing a complete service throughout the current crisis. The charity remains open and fully operational.
Branches are not able to provide direct financial support to members, but we will direct any members to There For You.
Wherever possible, and to reduce any delays, please submit applications online or via email.
Can I get help to pay with bills?
If you are on a low income you may be entitled to Universal Credit.
The government announced on 20 March that Universal Credit will be increased by £20 per week (£1,000 a year). Working Tax Credit will also be increased by £20 per week (£1,000 a year). The increase starts from 6 April.
You might also be entitled to more help with your rent. The government has announced that the Local Housing Allowance will be increased to cover more people’s rents.
If your employer is considering making you redundant as a result of Coronavirus
People who work in public services should not be made redundant as a result of Coronavirus, but people who work for private businesses may be at risk of redundancy.
UNISON and other unions have been working with the government to make sure workers still get paid even if their employer is considering layoffs or redundancies. The government announced on 20 March that they will pay 80% of wage costs, up to a limit of £2,500 per month, as part of a new Job Retention Scheme to protect those at risk of redundancy or lay-off.
The Chancellor announced some details relating to the Job Retention Scheme on Friday 20 March – but we do not have the substance of the legislation at this time.
So far we understand that the scheme will be backdated to 1 March and will last for three months.
To access the scheme employers will need to designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers,’ and notify their employees of this change. This will change the status of your employment relationship. This change in employment status for affected employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation.