COVID 19 – Latest update to all Justteachers agency workers – 7th April
Published: Tuesday April 07 2020 by Paul Ashworth
At the outset, we would like to thank you for your patience during these difficult times. I appreciate that the last few weeks have been hugely worrying for you due to the upheaval and uncertainty brought to us all by the Coronavirus.
Over the last 10 days, we have been reviewing the guidance which has been published and updated by the Government, most recently on the 4th April. This is our Latest update on how we hope to support you financially. We would like to assure you that our aim is to achieve the best possible outcome for each member of our valued supply staff.
If you are currently in a long term assignment but unable to work due to COVID-19
Our clear understanding of HM Government guidance is that schools should continue to pay supply staff who are in ongoing long term roles and who are unable to work due to COVID-19 (whether as a result of school closures, self-isolation, sickness or childcare responsibilities). The Government has advised that 80% of the daily rate should be paid (up to a cap of £2,500 per month) albeit schools can continue to pay 100% if they so choose. We are currently in close communication with schools to urge them to continue to pay our long term supply staff. Many schools have been supportive and have already confirmed that they will continue to pay throughout this challenging period. Where your school has adopted this approach, your consultant will be in contact with you to confirm.
In cases where it has not been possible to reach an agreement with your school, you may have the option of receiving pay through the new Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (please see below).
For all candidates
If you are not continuing to be paid by a school (either because you are not in a long term booking or because your school has not agreed to continue paying you) you may have the option of being furloughed under the Government’s new Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (the “Scheme”). Eligible individuals under this Scheme can be paid 80% of earnings up to a cap of £2,500 per month using the method of calculation set out in the guidance. This Scheme is currently available until 31st May.
Under the rules set by the Government, in order to be eligible for this Scheme, you must have been registered with Justteachers and on our payroll as at 28th February this year. Unfortunately, if you joined Justteachers after this date, have received your P45, or are working via an Umbrella Company, we will not be able to furlough you. If you are paid via an Umbrella Company, I would encourage you to discuss your options with your provider, who may be able to furlough you.
Unless you fall within one of the categories described above (i.e. are still receiving pay from your school, joined Justteachers after 28 February, have received your P45 or are working via an Umbrella Company), it is likely that we can place you on furlough and pay you 80% of your earnings (subject to the cap of £2,500 a month) through the Scheme.
By the end of this week, we will have identified all candidates who we believe meet the eligibility criteria for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. We will then send an email to all those eligible, confirming the terms of their inclusion in the Scheme, including our calculation of pay entitlement. It is vitally important that you respond to that email so that we have your written consent to furlough you, which is a requirement of the Scheme. Following receipt of your written consent, we will then confirm by email that you are included within the Scheme. Your initial furlough period will commence on 23 March unless you have been paid by us in respect of any days after this date, in which case it will commence on the working day which follows your last paid day.
HMRC has said that it expects that its online system for processing claims under this Scheme will be live by the end of this month. We are aiming to ensure that we are in a position to submit all eligible claims straight away, when the system opens for applications. Payment will be made to you as soon as possible after we receive the funds from HMRC. Please note that this pay will be subject to all the usual deductions (including income tax, NI and pension).
Please note that there are a number of specific rules of the Scheme which may apply in individual circumstances. We will advise you if any are applicable to you.
If, in the meantime, you want further information about how the Scheme operates, please follow the link below to the Government guidance:
I hope that this information gives you reassurance that we are doing everything that we can to ensure that our supply staff do not suffer financial hardship at this difficult time.
Please all stay safe and take care.