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Financial support for people and families

Last Updated 4:02pm, 29 September 2020


Information about coronavirus is available in different formats and languages, including easy read, BSL and for people who are not online.

Support for employees

The government has produced guidance around the financial support available for workers

The Money Saving Expert website also has some useful advice on your rights as an employee.


Job support scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is due to finish at the end of October. In it’s place the government have introduced the Job Support Scheme.

The new scheme is designed to protect viable jobs in businesses that are being impacted by Coronavirus who can support their employees by offering them some hours, but need more time to be able to bring them back up to their normal working hours. The Government will pay a third of hours not worked up to a cap, with the
employer also contributing a third. This will ensure employees earn a minimum of 77% of their normal wages

The scheme will open on 1 November 2020 and run for 6 months, until April 2021.

Financial support if you're on a low income and need to self isolate

Self-isolation is one of the most powerful tools for controlling the transmission of Covid-19. The government have now launched a Test and Trace Support payment of £500 so that those on low incomes are able to self-isolate without worry about their finances.

Just under 4 million people who are in receipt of benefits in England will be eligible for this payment, which will be available to those who are required to self-isolate from 28 September.

Local Authorities will be working quickly to set up these self-isolation support schemes which are expected to be in place by 12 October. Those who start to self-isolate from 28 September will receive backdated payments once the scheme is set up in their Local Authority.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was introduced earlier this year, allowing employers to put staff ‘on furlough’ (temporary leave), whilst claiming a grant of up to 80% of their wages.

This scheme is due to end on 31 October – see the guidance on Changes to The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for more details.

Sick pay

If you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) tell your employer immediately. They should tell you if you’re covered by their sick leave policy. After the first 7 days of absence, they may also ask you for an isolation note to show you cannot work because of coronavirus. You can get an isolation note from NHS 111 online.

If you cannot get sick pay from your employer, you could get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for every day you’re in isolation. You must self isolate for at least 4 days to be eligible.

If someone you live with has symptoms of coronavirus

You must stay at home if someone you live with has symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). This is sometimes known as ‘self-isolating’. You should work from home if you can. If you cannot work from home tell your employer that a member of your household has symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) and that you must self-isolate. They should tell you if you’re covered by their sick leave or special leave policy.

If you cannot get sick pay from your employer, you might be able to get Statutory Sick Pay from day one of self-isolation.

If you lose your job

Financial support

Apply online for Universal Credit to get financial support if you’ve lost your job.

You might also be able to:

Further information on what to do if you were employed but have lost your job


Redundancy is a form of dismissal from your job. It happens when employers need to reduce their workforce.

See the government’s Redundancy: your rights webpage for more information.

Looking for other work

Find full or part-time jobs in using the Find a job service.

Job opportunities in Devon

The care sector currently has an urgent requirement for workers – the latest vacancies in this sector can be viewed on Proud to Care Devon.

For other employment opportunities, have a look at the Heart of the South West Virtual Career Fairs.

Support if you are self-employed

There are a number of measures and schemes now available to support businesses such as grant funding, business rate relief and loans.

Full details can be found on the government business support website.

If you run a business or are self-employed and are concerned about paying your tax due to coronavirus, you can call HMRC’s helpline for help and advice: 0800 024 1222.

The Money Saving Expert website also has some useful information if you’re self employed.


Self Employment Income Support Scheme

The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19.

The scheme will provide a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month. HMRC will use the average profits from tax returns in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 to calculate the size of the grant. The scheme will be open to those where the majority of their income comes from self-employment and who have profits of less than £50,000.

Applications for the second and final grant are now open. Make your claim from the date given. If you’re eligible and your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020, you must make your claim for the second grant on or before 19 October 2020.

Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBLIS)

The Business Interruption Loan Scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £5 million. The government guarantees 80% of the finance to the lender and pays interest and any fees for the first 12 months.

Bounce Back Loan Scheme

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) enables smaller businesses to access finance more quickly during the coronavirus outbreak

Support for businesses in Devon

Local businesses (those in the Devon County Council, Plymouth or Torbay areas) can access free business support and advice from the Heart of the South West Growth Hub.

Growth Support Kickstart Grant scheme

The Growth Support Kickstart Grant scheme aims to help businesses to recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. There’s additional funding within the grant to help small businesses in tourism related sectors to adapt their business, as part of a Kickstarting Tourism package announced by Government for businesses in tourist destinations.

The grant scheme is open to small and medium-sized enterprises based in the Heart of the South West LEP area of Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay. Grants of between £1,000 and £3,000 will be available to eligible businesses.

Other financial help

In the interim, self-employed people may still be eligible for other government support including:

Further information on all support available and how to access these schemes