Helpful resources for while you are being Furloughed

We’ve taken help, advice, hints and tips from across the web and government sources to provide you with some help during this difficult time.
We’re hoping this ‘furloughed’ period is as short as possible, however as of yet we don’t know because both the government and health experts haven’t advised us.

We will keep up to date with the situation and in turn will inform you what it means to your situation.

FINANCE

Don’t panic. If you allow yourself to take a breath and remind yourself that you have all the tools you need to deal with them, you will start finding the energy and motivation you need.

Bills
It’s worth running through all your finances to see what bills you can cut.

Speak to your bank, credit card provider or mortgage lender if you have one.

Right now banks are giving support to people struggling financially because of the Coronavirus.

This could include payment holidays and waived missed payment fees on credit cards, loans and mortgages, and penalty-free access to savings that have been locked away.

Gym memberships – many are proactively freezing monthly direct debits. If you haven’t heard from yours, proactively call them to see h.

Renters

If you are worried about paying your rent contact your landlord and tell them about your situation.You may be able to agree to a temporary payment holiday. (see a template letter below)

The Government has also now announced that landlords won’t be able to start eviction proceedings for at least the next three months, protecting private and social tenants (and private landlords can be given a three-month payment holiday on their buy-to-let mortgages if their tenants are experiencing financial difficulties due to coronavirus).

It’s introducing emergency legislation for this, though it’s not yet clear when this will come into force. (It’s worth noting though that this change won’t affect eviction proceedings already underway.)

Beyond this three-month point, you’ll be expected to work with your landlord to establish an affordable repayment plan which takes your circumstances into account.

If you live in Scotland, your landlord will only be able to start proceedings to evict you if you’ve been in arrears for six months in a row (up from three months currently), according to a speech by Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell in the Scottish Parliament.

Here’s a template letter to send to your landlord requesting a payment holiday.

https://docs.google.com/document/u/0/d/1aerRi6Ie796gKlo1SE-DLcioqbAV_kEXuVTvFchyLhA/mobilebasic

And check if you might qualify for financial help paying your rent.

You may qualify for Universal Credit, Housing Benefit or in some cases a discretionary housing payment (DHP). A DHP is extra money from your local council to help pay your rent.

Contact Citizens Advice to find out more (number below).

Council Tax

You may qualify for a discount on your council tax. If you are struggling to pay your council tax ask to speak to someone in your local Council Tax office and tell them about your situation.
You can also spread your council tax bills over 12 instead of 10 months to reduce payments.

Gas, water and electric bills

If you’ve got a gas or electric bill you are struggling to pay, you should contact your supplier to help you sort out a payment plan that works for you. They are obliged to help you do this and you can get help from your local Citizens Advice if they don’t.
To cut your future bills you should make sure you’re on the best deal you can get. Use a price comparison tool to check such as moneysupermarket.com or uswitch.com 

Grants & funds

Turn 2 Us
Many charities offer non-repayable grants to help individuals on low incomes.

To be eligible you have to meet their particular rules. These may be based on your location, age, gender, current or past jobs or health condition.

To find out more please visit ​https://grants-search.turn2us.org.uk/

Hospitality Workers Emergency Fund

Are you a hospitality worker in a tough spot? We want to help. Currently we are working hard to raise funds for the​ Hospitality Worker Emergency Fund​ to give support to people facing unemployment during these hard circumstances.
Apply here​ ​https://www.hospitalityaction.org.uk/get-help/ CAN YOU APPLY?
– You must be currently working within the UK hospitality industry or have worked in the industry within the last month
– Have savings of less than £1,000 per person or £2,000 for a family or couple (including rolling bank balance). We do not take into account any income you receive from state benefits
– You are experiencing financial issues relating to your employment status owing to coronavirus.

If you’re struggling with daily living costs you may be able to get help from your local council under the welfare assistance scheme. Contact your local council for more information.

MENTAL HEALTH & WELLBEING

We recognise this is a particularly stressful and worrying time so be sure to look after yourself, and others.

A good resource for help, advice hints and tips can be found at Mental Health
https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/looking-after-your-mental-health-during-co ronavirus-outbreak

Use the Buddy System – grab a mate and set up a buddy system where you check in on each other once or twice a day.

Share an emergency contact with each other and if you don’t hear from the person for a day you can phone the emergency contact.

Check in on your friends, family, and colleagues.

A message or phone/video call can go a long way in helping people feel less isolated.

Download free apps such as House Party from the app store and video conference with each other. There are games too to make it fun.

Exercise! If you can’t leave the house do an online yoga class in your room, or a 30 minute HIIT workout. Many of these are available for free online. If you can, get outside for a walk or run then go for it, just stay a safe distance away from others. Download the Couch to 5K app to get running!

Find free online fitness sessions here
https://www.popsugar.co.uk/fitness/online-workouts-that-are-free-during-coronavirus-out break-47315274

Join our Virtual Elite membership where we have lots of daily events and content to keep you sane. You can register on this website.

Take time to switch off from listening and reading about the virus and its impact. Turn your phone off for an hour or so each day to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Write a list of the things you’ve always wanted to do or new skills that you’ve wanted to learn Offer to do a skills exchange with a friend

Have a Netflix viewing party where you pick a film and all start watching at the same time, or cook together over video chat

If you have kids Audible is providing free audible books.

As a manager you may wish to undertake some learning opportunities udring this time. CPL has made available its mental health course for free https://www.cpllearning.com/online-courses/mental-health-support-champion/

Pernod Ricard are offering free WSET 1 courses. There are limited places and you need to register here ​https://www.prukbeat.com/lets-keep-busy

KEY NUMBERS & RESOURCES

HOSPITALITY ACTION
– We’re members of their Employee Assistance Programme
– Call them ​on 0808 802 2111for help and advice
– You can access for free help & support online
https://hospitalityaction.well-online.co.uk/
– Username – hospitality, Password – wellbeing
break-47315274

CITIZENS ADVICE
– Call them on 03444 111 444
– Mon – Fri 10am – 4pm

MENTAL HEALTH

– Mind 0300 123 3393

FINANCE
Martin Lewis keeps this page up to date with helpful financial advice
https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/2020/03/uk-coronavirus-help-and-your-rights