England is now subject to National lockdown: Stay at Home restrictions. You must stay at home.
This page provides advice on work and money in light of the coronavirus outbreak.
Under national lockdown restrictions you may only leave your home for work if you cannot reasonably work from home.
If you cannot work from home you should continue to travel to your workplace. This includes people who work in critical national infrastructure, construction, or manufacturing.
If you have to self-isolate, you may have concerns about whether you will get paid while you are away from work, and financial support if your work ends.
Ask your employer about their policies on pay and holiday pay if your workplace closes or if you are unable to work due to childcare responsibilities when schools close. There is no legal right to pay in these circumstances, but ACAS have provided guidance.
You may be furloughed if caring responsibilities arising from Coronavirus mean:
This includes caring for children who are at home as a result of school or childcare facilities closing. Ask your employer about being furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
If you are a member of a trade union, they can advise you on your rights at work. If not, visit Citizens Advice online. Advice Portsmouth – the drop-in centre is closed, so for advice ring 023 92794 340, text 07789 550593, email email@example.com or contact via Facebook
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (known as Furlough)
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until 30 April 2021. Read information about the support available for employees through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
If you are self-employed and your business has been impacted by coronavirus between 1 November 2020 and 29 January 2021, and you reasonably believe this will significantly reduce your profits, read information about the support available and how to make a claim.
If you are being made redundant, find out about your rights and the help available to find a new job. Specialist help is available before you are made redundant, and for up to 13 weeks after redundancy.
Building new skills
The Skills Toolkit provides free digital and numeracy courses to help you build and develop new valuable skills and improve your employability.
There is further financial advice and support available in the following places:
If you claim council tax support, you could get a further discount on this year’s council tax, of up to £150. This is because of the hardship many people are suffering during the coronavirus crisis.
How does it work?
Updated council tax bills are being sent out soon, which will include the discount.
New claimants of council tax support can also receive the discount by applying online.
If you need to contact us then you can call us on 023 9268 8588 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We are currently dealing with a high number of requests and may not be able to deal with phone or email queries quickly.
In November, the government announced plans for the Covid Winter Grant Scheme. Under the scheme, funding is being made available to local authorities to help those most in need over the winter with the cost of food, energy and water bills and other winter costs.
We want to make sure these funds help the hardest-hit families and most vulnerable within our community. A broad range of referral agencies, such as housing organisations, charities, voluntary groups and early help services, will be able to identify people in need of urgent support from the scheme. The support provided will be adapted to meet the needs of each person or family and could be in the form of supermarket vouchers, food parcels or support with energy bills.
If you’re struggling to pay for food and other essentials or are in urgent need of financial help, local support is available:
There have sadly been reports in the UK of people using coronavirus to carry out scams. Anyone who has been a victim of fraud or cybercrime can report it online at Action Fraud or call 0300 123 2040.
Some of the recently reported scams involve people receiving a text saying they need to book a Covid-19 vaccination appointment and it takes them to a fake NHS form which then asks for their bank details to prove their identity. Or they’re asked to press a number on their keypad or to send a text message to confirm they wish to receive the vaccine. This results in a charge being applied to their phone bill.
There have also been scams involving the NHS Test and Trace service advising that you’ve been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus and need to have a test. They say that they need your card details as you have to pay for the test. This is not true.
The vaccine and NHS tests for coronavirus are free. If you get a genuine email, text or call from the NHS regarding the vaccination or Test and Trace service they will never ask you to pay for a test or for your bank/card details.
The following types of scam have also been reported, which fraudsters use to access your personal information such as passwords or bank details:
For more advice on avoiding scams, take a look at:
You can also sign up to receive Hampshire Alert notifications here.
For more advice on avoiding scams, take a look at the Hampshire Constabulary and Action Fraud website. You can also sign up to receive Hampshire Alert notifications here.
The Victim Care Service has launched a new website to ensure anyone affected by crime in Portsmouth and the rest of Hampshire can access support and advice.
The website offers tips on how to protect yourself from different types of crime and advice on what to do if you experience them. The service provides support for victims and witnesses of crime to cope with, and recover from, the harmful effects of the crime they have experienced.
The Victim Care Service is open to all victims, no matter what the type of crime, regardless of whether the crime has been reported to the police or not, and no matter how recently or how long ago the crime took place.
The NHS has created an online isolation note service if you need to provide evidence to your employer that you need to be off work due to coronavirus.
This service is for people who:
If you are not sure if you need to stay at home, get the latest NHS advice on coronavirus.
If you have to stay at home but feel well enough to work, ask your employer if you can work from home. If you can work from home, you will not need an isolation note.
You can also use this service for someone else.
Visit the NHS isolation note online service
If you are receiving:
If you are claiming Universal Credit, changes to your earned income will automatically update your monthly assessment, but if you are self-employed you must continue to provide details of your income each month.
If your employment or self-employment ends, but you have paid national insurance contributions, you may be entitled to claim contribution-based benefits:
If you don’t qualify for contribution-based benefits, you may be eligible for Universal Credit. If you need help to pay your rent and you are not already claiming housing benefit, or if you own your own home and need help with mortgage interest costs, you may also be eligible to claim Universal Credit.
If you claim Universal Credit, other benefits you are receiving may be cancelled, so for independent advice on whether to make a claim, contact the Citizens Advice Help To Claim service, online or by phone.
Jobcentres (including Portsmouth and Cosham) remain open for anyone who is not able to use the phone or online channels. All other face-to-face appointments have been cancelled for the time being.
Foodbanks provide around 3 days food for your whole household if you can’t afford to buy food. Some foodbanks need a referral, and some can help you without being referred.
The Switched On Portsmouth team are available to provide energy advice to all Portsmouth residents. This includes simple tips and tricks to reduce your home energy consumption and bills, advice on installing new measures to improve your home (heating systems, solar PV or insulation), and access to financial support.
Use the Freephone number 0800 260 5907 or visit the Switched On Portsmouth website for more information.