If you are a supply teacher you may be worried about how Coronavirus affects you financially.
On the 18 March 2020, the Government announced that schools in the UK will close from Friday 21 March until further notice in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Schools, colleges and nurseries will close to help slow the spread of the virus, which will help save lives and protect the most vulnerable. Schools will need to put provision in place for pupils of key coronavirus workers and vulnerable children including pupils with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).
Inevitably, this will have an impact on the availability of work for our supply staff, which we understand is very concerning. We are liaising with schools on a daily basis and will continue to provide staff for the education providers who are struggling for staff for on the scaled back service for pupils of key workers and vulnerable children.
We recognise the difficulties and uncertainty the current environment brings so we’ve tried to answer your most frequently asked questions about Coronavirus (COVID-19) below:
What happens if there is a nationwide closure of schools? Will I still get paid?
We are keeping up to date every single day as for us there is nothing more important than looking after our staff.
Unfortunately, Future Education Ltd can’t guarantee that you’ll get paid. If you are in a long-term supply booking, it is at the school's discretion whether or not to pay for those days. If you are a supply worker who works on daily and short-term bookings, unfortunately you will not be entitled to receive any pay if the schools are closed as there will be no work available.
The NEU is calling on schools to continue paying supply teachers until the end of their engagement and to maintain all other short-term contracts. We are asking the other school leader unions to adopt the NEU’s advice to its own school leader members to do so. There is no current government legislation surrounding this and appropriate unions are fighting hard to ensure you get the support you need.
If the schools close, will I be able to get any financial support because I am unable to work?
During times of hardship we want to continue to support you and will do all we can to ensure you get maximum support.
You may be eligible to claim Universal Credit if you need financial support as a result of coronavirus. Do not delay in making a claim via the .Gov website at www.gov.uk/how-to-claim-universal-credit. You will not have to go to the jobcentre to claim Universal Credit if you’re advised to self-isolate.
If you are already claiming Universal Credit, the amount of Universal Credit you receive automatically changes if your take home pay changes.
There are also some hardship funds depending on which Teaching association you are a member of.
- The NEU Trust Fund is a charitable fund formed to give confidential support and financial assistance to members in times of illness or hardship. Click here for further details.
- Education Support Partnership is an independent charity and can provide counselling and financial assistance to all teachers. Education Support Partnership can be contacted on 08000 562 561 (UK-wide) or click on the following link: educationsupportpartnership
- The NASUWT Benevolent Fund is available to members, former members, the dependants of members and former members, and dependants of deceased members, provided a subscription has been paid to the Union. To make an application for benevolence assistance, contact your Local Association Secretary in the first instance. Alternatively, you can contact the NASUWT Legal and Casework Team at: Telephone: 0121 453 6150, weekdays between 8.30am and 5.30pm
Does AWR not cover me for benefits such as occupational sick pay?
If you are working on an agency assignment which has lasted more than 12 weeks and therefore covered by the Agency Worker Regulations (AWR), you will unfortunately not receive occupational sick pay as this is excluded from benefits conferred by the AWR.
There are no provisions in the legislation or within the Government’s guidance on AWR that states that an agency worker that qualifies for equal treatment, should be paid when the hirer shuts down. The only reference to a shutdown is in Regulation 7 (8) when calculating the qualifying clock which pauses if there is a temporary cessation of the workplace by the hirer. However, this may change and we are keeping close watch on this legislation.
Additionally, the NEU is calling on schools to continue paying supply teachers until the end of their engagement and to maintain all other short-term contracts. They are asking the other school leader unions to adopt the NEU’s advice to its own school leader members to do so.
Now that schools have closed, can I still get SSP if I become unwell?
As you will no longer be out on assignment sadly SSP is not valid. If you are out working on the scaled back service of course Future Education will pay SSP, as with any illness we will pay statutory sick pay (SSP) based on current government rules. Please inform us as soon as possible so we can action your claim for SSP.
Any payroll queries please email email@example.com
What is your sick pay policy if I need to self-isolate/contract COVID19?
If you contract COVID19 or need to self-isolate please fill in the online form diagnosing your symptoms and submit a copy of your results to us so we can work on getting SSP reviewed for you ASAP: https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19/
Future Education will comply with the legislation regard SSP for those that qualify.
How do I know if I qualify for sick pay?
You are entitled to SSP if your average weekly earnings exceed £118 over the last 8 weeks. Due to supply days being sporadic it can be very complicated to calculate as if you work 2 out of 5 days in the week it is calculated differently. We want to ensure you get the maximum support you need and review each case individually and in detail.
Any payroll queries please email firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m registered with multiple agencies, so who covers my sick pay?
We can see if you are registered with multiple agencies based on your tax code. Subject to eligibility criteria, supply teachers can only claim SSP from the agency they are working with/have agreed to work with on an assignment at the time they fall ill.
I’m paid via an Umbrella company, what do I discuss with them in regard to SSP?
If you are paid via an umbrella company they are responsible for processing your SSP. At present we are in discussion with the umbrella companies we work with to see what their individual advice is. Each umbrella company is following government guidelines and it is best you refer back to them and discuss this directly.
They will be able to give you tailored advice and discuss with you what they have in place to protect you.
What do I need to do if I work at a school during the scaled back service?
Future Education is still operating and providing staff to schools, especially as schools are now being asked to remain open over the Easter holidays. If you do work during the scaled back school service, submit your time sheet when appropriate and you will get paid as normal. Our clients are currently identifying options to provide learning from home so this may be an option.
Will I be advised if I am covering a member of staff who has a confirmed case of Coronavirus before I am offered the role?
If we are asked to specifically cover a member of staff who has the virus we will assess the situation in advance, assess the risk at that particular school and inform you.
How will I know if an establishment I am going to work at has been affected by Coronavirus?
It is our duty to protect the wellbeing of all our staff including our supply teachers. We will not send you anywhere we believe is a high risk and will disclose all the information the school has passed onto us so you can make an informed decision.