Tag Archives: furlough

Furlough alert: Workers face ‘financial nightmare’ as HMRC ‘clawback’ payments – act now

FURLOUGH payments will soon dry up as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme comes to a close. As the scheme comes to an end from September 30, it has been hailed as a “qualified success” but affected workers could still be hit by unexpected demands from the Government. As 2022 approaches, HMRC may “clawback” money from those who have overclaimed and ahead of this, Britons have been urged to get their budgetary affairs in order.

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Furlough comes to an end – what to do if you are made redundant

“Once the furlough scheme comes to an end, the worst-case scenario for many is that they will be working fewer hours than before Covid-19 or will have been made redundant.

“If you are anticipating being on a lower income after furlough, then go through your budget line by line to see where potential savings could be made. Take note of any specific dates that are relevant to you, such as payment holidays coming to an end or bill payments, and speak to your providers about this, as well as new plans or discounts available.”

Fortunately, as the September deadline approaches, a number of experts have released guidance on what should be done by those who face redundancy.

Review your finances and ground yourself in the moment

Nicola Schutrups, the Managing Director of The Mortgage Hut, urged those unlucky enough to be made redundant to review their finances asap, especially ones mortgage commitments.

Ms Schutrups explained: “Generally lenders want to support their borrowers, the last thing they ever want to do is to evict or repossess a property; it’s extremely rare for this to happen in the UK.

“What banks may look to do, depending on your circumstances, is offer a payment holiday to allow you to have a bit of breathing space. They may also allow you to just service the interest part of your mortgage, which could reduce payments significantly.

“The worst thing that you can do is not speak to your lender and miss mortgage payments as this could have a negative impact on your credit file. It also means that when your fixed rate ends, you could miss out on a really competitive rate which could then see your payments go up further, putting even more financial pressure on you. We are in a very regulated environment where consumers are well protected and lenders generally do want to help their customers.”

Martin Boroson, a Zen priest, leadership coach, and former psychotherapist, also provided advice on how people can manage their stress and mental health during this difficult period: “This deceptively simple action–focusing on your breath, in this moment–may sound like a cliche particularly when times are hard, but it really can help you. It won’t solve your problems, but it does help you find the state of mind that can solve your problems.

“It can be easy to let your mind race off in any number of worrying directions, where worst case scenarios are played out. The trouble is you end up feeling the emotional fallout of all these bad experiences when they’ve not actually happened yet.

“And that means you can’t accurately assess the situation, find creative solutions, or even think straight.

“Close your eyes, focus on your breathing, and rest in the present, where you are still okay. Even just a little bit of this will help you calm down a little. And once you have calmed down, you’ll find you are able to think more clearly about the next steps you need to take.”

Author: Connor Coombe-Whitlock
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When will furlough scheme end? Major changes implemented in days

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), commonly known as the furlough scheme, has been one of the Chancellor’s flagship financial policies during the UK lockdown. The scheme has allowed employers to place employees on furlough during times of uncertainty, meaning employees keep earning and businesses can stay afloat. The scheme is due to end later this year, but there will also be some major changes to the way the scheme runs over the next few months.

What furlough scheme changes will come in for July?

Major changes will start from July 2021 with regards to the furlough scheme.

For May and June, the Government has contributed 80 percent of furloughed employees’ wages, capped at £2,500 per month.

However, from July the amount of Government support is going to start tapering off.

READ MORE: State pension UK: Free bus pass qualifying ages will be changing

In July, the Government will contribute to 70 percent of an employee’s wage, capped at £2,187.50 per month.

However, furloughed employees can still expect to get 80 percent of their wages up to £2,500 per month.

This means employers will have to start topping up their employees’ wages by 10 percent, up to £312.50, in July.

For August and September, the Government’s contribution to furloughed employees’ wages will decrease even further.

So there is currently no suggestion that the full furlough scheme will be extended past September either.

The changes to the furlough scheme, along with the planned end in September, will likely cause some uncertainty for many businesses and employees.

Commenting on the changes, Anthony Morrow, co-founder of online financial advice service OpenMoney, said: “While parts of the economy are recovering well from the effects of the pandemic, other sectors are still getting back to normal, and some are yet to fully reopen.”

Mr Morrow added: “For employees on furlough, these changes and the looming closure of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will raise concerns over their future job prospects and the long-term impact of the pandemic on their finances.”

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Finance Feed

Jason Manford's company ‘claimed furlough’ despite him making £3m through property empire

Jason Manford, 40, is claimed to have last year sold off 10 rental properties to help pay for his divorce from his first wife Catherine. They were held on the books of his firm Invisible Man Ltd.

However, according to The Sun, documents released by the Government revealed that another of his firms called Gerald Dean Ltd – that takes in cash from his entertainment work – claimed money under the pandemic’s job retention scheme.

The dad of six is a director of the company along with his cousin Lyndsey Holt.

Documents reportedly reveal the company has four employees.

Latest accounts for the firm – 75 per cent of which is owned by the star – show that at the end of March last year, the firm had a bottom-line of £1.372 million.

READ MORE: Dragons’ Den star slams critics after sparking concern from hospital

Jason shared a selfie in the chain’s cap and distinctive red and grey uniform sat inside one of its delivery vans.

Iceland boss Richard Walker said: “Everyone at Iceland is extremely grateful for Jason’s contribution today and he has certainly helped to lift spirits with our customers and heroic colleagues.

“Our stores are deeply rooted within their local communities, so it’s a real privilege for us to be in a position where we can work with great people like Jason and donate to some worthy causes at the same time.”

Jason gives to charity a lot and is the patron of Savebabies, which campaigns for newborn screening.

He also supports Stephen’s Story, the charity set up by terminally-ill cancer patient Stephen Sutton, who died in 2014.

The comedian and Lucy share two children together, and he has four kids from his previous marriage.

Jason told The Sun: “We all get along and it is good material. My family are half of my act. People like to hear about them.

“They come to hear that they are not a terrible parent, that it’s normal to lose it in front of a packed shopping centre.”

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Celebrity News Feed

Giovanna and Tom Fletcher apologise for claiming money from furlough scheme after backlash

Giovanna Fletcher, 36, has taken to Instagram to issue a lengthy apology for using the government’s furlough scheme to pay one of her employees during the coronavirus pandemic, despite being worth an estimated £8 million. The star is said to have claimed the funds alongside her McFly guitarist husband, Tom Fletcher, 35, just weeks after winning I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! in Gwrych Castle, North Wales last year.

In view of her two million followers, the mother-of-three addressed the claims which were made over the weekend.

She wrote: “Hi everyone, we’ve always had a very honest and open relationship with you all on here so we thought it was important to address questions that some of you have rightly asked us in the last 24 hours.

“This weekend there was an article in one of the Sunday papers about us using the government furlough scheme.

Giovanna continued: “While parts of the article were inaccurate (including all of the figures mentioned), it is true that we did follow financial advice to furlough someone we employ.”

More to follow…

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Celebrity News Feed

BA crew put back onto furlough amid travel restriction uncertainty – ‘enough is enough’

The carrier has been forced to furlough thousands of employees again as the wait for a return of international travel continues. BA has demanded the Government to ease restrictions and to move the US to the green list “at the next available opportunity”.

BA had begun to bring workers back to work on May 17, the date the Government set for the restart of international travel.

However, and after the traffic light system review last week, it seems like the summer season is over for the carrier.

With Portugal moved back to the amber list and only 11 countries on the green list – but none of them a significant holiday destination – thousands of staff are being put back onto the furlough scheme.

The carrier had already cut more than 8,000 jobs last year, which was the worst downturn in aviation history.

READ MORE: Expats: Britons ‘should look to Portugal instead of Spain’

A British Airways’ spokesperson said: “Like many companies, we’re using the furlough scheme to protect jobs during this unprecedented crisis.

“However, it’s vital the Government follows its risk-based framework to re-open international travel as soon as possible, putting more low-risk countries, like the US, on its green list at the next available opportunity.”

Taking to social media, crew and other employees have expressed their frustration with the ongoing travel restrictions.

“Well done @BorisJohnson Aer Lingus calls in liquidator for Stobbart Air whilst British Airways furlough more staff. You are determined to keep US-UK travel corridor shut and destroy the economy.


“Get it open for vaccinated people. There is no reason to delay,” said a crew member.

“BA staff are back on furlough. We are all going to be struggling, we need to stand up now, we’ve got nothing to lose anymore. Enough is enough,” said another.

British Aiways’ CEO Sean Doyle has called for the urgent reopening of the UK-US travel corridor, one of his airline’s key routes.

“We urgently need them to look to the science and base their judgements on a proper risk analysis, allowing us all to benefit from the protection offered by our successful vaccine rollouts”, said Doyle.

UK airline bosses wrote to Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week to demand the travel corridor between UK and the US as the “critical next step”.

During the G7 summit, the Secretary of State for Transport announced that the UK will begin to work on resuming travel with the US.

“We’re pleased to announce a joint UK/US Taskforce to help facilitate the reopening of transatlantic travel,” he said.

However, no progress on the traffic light system is expected to be announced before the Government decides on its domestic policy.

The Government made it clear that its priority at the moment is the easing of the domestic lockdown on June 21.

After that, the travel list will be reviewed again around June 24.

There is hope that more countries will be added to the green list, and restrictions will be eased at least for vaccinated travellers.

BA staff are planning to take the streets of London next week to protest against the current travel restrictions.

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Travel Feed

Giovanna and Tom Fletcher 'claimed up to £30k from furlough scheme' AFTER I’m A Celeb win

Author Giovanna Fletcher is said to have claimed up to £30,000 in cash from the government’s furlough scheme. The sum was paid to Giovanna during the coronavirus pandemic when people were unable to attend work due to the lockdown period.

Giovanna, 36, who is said to be worth an estimated £8 million, claimed for the substantial amount alongside her McFly guitarist husband, Tom Fletcher, 35.

The author who boasts friends including Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge became a household name last year after appearing on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!.

During her time on the first-ever UK edition of the hit ITV programme, Giovanna stole the hearts of the nation and was eventually crowned as the winner.

However, just weeks after walking away from Gwrych Castle, North Wales, she is said to have claimed funds from the government scheme.

READ MORE: Catherine Zeta-Jones sparks frenzy with BAFTAs appearance

Earlier this year, she revealed that she and Tom would love to holiday in St Lucia, before a family trip, including sons Buzz, six, Buddy, four, and Max, two, to Disney World Florida.

Recently, Giovanna opened up about the heartbreak she faced while writing her latest novel, Walking on Sunshine.

While appearing on Jamie Laing and Francis Boulle’s Private Parts podcast, Giovanna admitted that she lost 12,000 words of the piece of literature.

She said: “I lost everything of the new book when my laptop died, I lost 12,000 words.”

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Celebrity News Feed