Last week we ran a webinar focussing on COVID-19 and how that affects anzuk employees. There have been updates since last week that we wanted to address with our educators. If you would like to listen to the full webinar you can do so here – https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/recording/1757134336373508872
The pause in the middle of the webinar was to show our support for the NHS. Clap for our Carers every Thursday at 8pm – https://clapforourcarers.co.uk/
Keep reading to see all the main questions we are able to answer at this stage, if you prefer to watch the recording, skip to the bottom of this page.
Updates on the Job Retention Scheme (JRS)
The JRS is part of a £350 billion investment from the government to support UK businesses through the coronavirus outbreak – it’s essentially a government grant from HMRC that will cover 80% of employees’ salaries, up to £2500 month.
Clearer guidance is now available, and we now know that temporary workers can qualify for the scheme. This is great news for a lot of our educators.
The JRS wll cover the cost of wages to May 31st, and it is to be reviewed at a later date, but will be extended if necessary.
If you go onto the JRS scheme you become what is called a ‘furloughed worker’. Furloughed workers are those whose employers cannot cover staff costs due to coronavirus, and as such they have been asked to stop working, but have not been made redundant.
Such employers are now able to access support to continue paying 80% of their staff’s wages, to avoid redundancies.
The government has advised that the public sector (eg. schools and local authorities) should continue to pay suppliers (eg. anzuk) for the contingent workers that we have in place (eg. educators in long-term assignments) that were due to continue working, but are unable to due to COVID-19 for any reason (eg. self-isolating or school closures).
In line with the JRS, contingent workers should receive payment of 80% of their normal wage, up to £2500 month.
Q&A on The Job Retention Scheme:
Will Anzuk put me forward for the JRS scheme or do I have to do it myself?
Anzuk has identified and communicated with all temporary workers that are eligible for the JRS scheme. If you are eligible you will have received this week an email letter explaining this, which you need to reply to this week to be included for April. We have a few questions coming up regarding qualifying for JRS, so once those have been answered, if you are still unsure, please make sure you contact us ASAP in the usual way.
I have been working for anzuk in the UK since mid-January. I work on a casual basis but more recently I have worked more regularly. How can the Job Retention Scheme help me?
If you have been working with us since before 28th February 2020, and you are still active with us, you may qualify.
If you have been employed by anzuk for a full twelve months prior to the claim, you can claim for the higher of either:
- Average monthly earnings from this tax year
- The same month’s earning from the previous year
If you have been employed for less than a year, you can claim for an average of your monthly earnings since you started work. Again, this will cover 80% of your average earnings, up to £2500 month.
In relation to the JRS, what will happen to those who work for ANZUK although are payed through an umbrella company ie orange genie? It doesnt seem fair that those payed through ‘PAYE’ are entitled to 80% of their wages, although those with an umbrella company are not. Considering we are all working for ANZUK what can you do to ensure it’s fair for all ANZUK workers to be entitled to the JRS and not just the PAYE employees?
anzuk operate under the code of conduct for employment businesses and offer both PAYE and Umbrella solutions. It is always up to the individual to decide how they wish to be paid, depending on their circumstances.
We have been in contact with Umbrella companies we work closely with, and Adam, the CEO and Founder of the Umbrella company Generate kindly offered to answer questions around Umbrella JRS options, and is leading the way in communicating to educators regarding this scheme and its relevance to Umbrella workers.
Adam Barton. Founder & CEO of Generate – “All Umbrella contractors have their pay structured in their employment contract as a combination of national minimum wage for time worked, with the balance paid as a bonus. This provides the flexibility to move between different assignments and pay arrangements, as circumstances demand.
Unfortunately, the guidance on how to operate the Job Retention Scheme makes clear that bonuses are not to be included when calculating the 80% furlough pay. Therefore, as it stands, furlough payments would be based on National Minimum Wage (NMW). Therefore 80% of NMW.
Generate believe this is grossly unfair and are and will continue to push both FCSA and The REC (2 main governing bodies in recruitment) to get these changed.”
I generally only work 1 day a week with you, do I still qualify for any payment? Is it better for me to claim universal credit? How do I apply for any payment?
In terms of qualifying for JRS, it doesn’t matter whether you worked 1 day a week or 5 days a week, so long as you were on our PAYE payroll on or before 28th February 2020 you are eligible.
In regards to whether Universal Credit would be a better option for you personally, we’re not qualified to provide financial advice and this would be a wholly individual/specific consideration for you.
We will support in any way that we are able with relaying government guidance. You can find the Universal Credit link here: https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit
If this continues into the summer, where do we stand on furlough? I had another job lined up for the holidays that will obviously not happen if this continues.
The JRS is only until the 31st of May. Many variables will factor in to whether it is extended or not, this is under constant review from the government.
If it continues, you will have a choice to leave and seek other roles.
Are we able to still move forward with tutoring if we furlough through anzuk?
Unfortunately if you were to be furloughed through anzuk, you wouldn’t be able to also tutor through anzuk. As that would go against the government legalisation around the JRS.
I know this is something we discussed in our last webinar, alight of the updates with the JRS, we did have to slightly halt the launch this week. We are still planning to move forward with launching a partnership with a tutoring company and will keep everyone updated.
For anyone furloughed through anzuk, it would likely be accessible to you, once schools re-open & you are back in the classroom teaching with us.
How will they work out 80% of our salary – as our pay rate is weekly and variable (school holidays/rates)?
Not industry specific so, unfortunately, it doesn’t take into account school holidays. It is calculated on an average of your monthly earnings as we identified previously.
I have refrained signing the JRS form which was sent to me to be completed by 1st April because a section mentions I am “not allowed to accept any other paid work -without permission”. Does this include another long term part time job I’ve had and still work with? (They are paying 80% of my wages already started).
As we understand the position based on current guidance, an eligible employee can be furloughed by one organisation but continue working for another organisation if they hold separate employment with them.
If some schools require supply staff to go into work for only a day then we are not needed there or elsewhere, how will you decide collectively who goes in for a day of work and has their furlough ended?
We will only book in educators who aren’t furloughed through anzuk. We will block out the availablity for all our educators on our online systems.
Our Educators will still remain active on our system & will still be able to log onto their Ready to Work App, but won’t be able to be booked out for supply.
Does JRS apply to those who are still working and being offered full time work by the school they have been working with?
No, it is one or the other. To qualify for the scheme, staff cannot continue to work for the employer while furloughed.
I am working a full week finishing on Friday the 3rd of April, will I still qualify for the JRS with anzuk for the month April?
Yes, if you have worked a full week this week you can still qualify for furlough in April. You need to have a 3-week window in the month of April to be able to qualify.
If we have briefly left the country due to the virus but will be returning as soon as it settles down will we qualify for JRS?
This is still a bit of a grey area but the current guidance is that the JRS can cover employees who were made redundant since 28 February 2020 if they are rehired by their employer. The guidance is silent regarding those who have resigned, but the implication is that they would not be covered.
So the key points to highlight here are:
- Were you made redundant due to Coronavirus?
- Do you have an intention to return and be re-hired through anzuk?
- We would need to consider visa dates in this situation