OPINION

Support for jobs, firms and workers during the coronavirus pandemic

Posted On 10 Apr 2020 at 12:05 am

I want to thank everyone for getting in touch with their thoughts, their concerns and their ideas surrounding the challenges of the covid-19 pandemic.

As a council we are putting out city briefings and updating the council website with advice and guidance every day, so I’d always encourage everyone to check the website for any queries you might have – or get in touch with us directly.

I know lots of you are worried about your jobs at this difficult time, so I want to highlight some of the key information and support that is available.

Last month, the government announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which means employers can claim 80 per cent of the usual monthly wage costs of furloughed staff (employees on a leave of absence) up to £2,500.

The government package of measures to support businesses and their employees through this unprecedented crisis also includes statutory sick pay relief for small and medium-sized enterprises, a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, leisure and hospitality businesses – and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to help businesses with short-term cash flow support.

The council is already paying out business grants and is working hard to ensure all small businesses and their workers benefit as quickly as possible from these grants.

If you’re worried, be sure to check the council and government websites as your employers may be eligible for some of the support measures outlined above which could ensure your job is safe and you still receive an income even if your place of work has had to close its doors due to covid-19.

If you are a member of a trade union, you can also ask your union what additional support is available, and if you’re not you should really consider joining one.

There is also support available for self-employed workers. The Self-employment Income Support Scheme has been set up to help self-employed people who have lost income due to covod-19 and allows you to claim a taxable grant worth 80 per cent of your trading profits up to £2,500 a month.

Please do get in contact if you’re in need of additional support, we are working round the clock to help workers, businesses and residents through this and we want to hear from you. To find out more, click here.

Councillor Nancy Platts is the Labour leader of Brighton and Hove City Council.

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