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Public Sector Contractors Will Receive Government Support

Public Sector Contractors Will Receive Government Support

A new government scheme will protect contingent workers in the public sector if they can’t work during the Covid-19 pandemic. The government announced details of the scheme, which will apply if a public sector contractor is prevented from working due to temporary office closure, sickness or isolation. The scheme seeks to safeguard critical public sector services by protecting the livelihoods of public sector contingent workers.

‘Contingent Workers’ are defined in the guidance document as contractors, umbrella and agency PAYE workers. The support applies to all Government departments, their executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies. Claimants are entitled to 80% of their pay rate up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. This should be backdated to 1 March 2020 if necessary, and will be available initially for at least 3 months.

The support applies to part-time workers and may also be available for public sector workers with childcare commitments in certain cases. Contractors should get in touch with their end-client contact to report any Covid-19 related absence. If they can work from home, such arrangements should be made by the end-client and payment to the worker will continue as normal. If they cannot work from home, adjustments will be made to pay and fees.

Other public sector organisations have been encouraged to roll out this scheme to their contingent workers. However, it is not mandatory, so public sector contractors will need to discuss the possibilities with their end-client or agency. If the contractor’s assignment is due to end naturally during this period regardless of Covid-19, the public sector body isn’t obliged to continue support past the contract end date.

For contingent workers who work ad-hoc hours, the end-client will conduct a retrospective view of the previous 12 weeks (or as many weeks as the contingent worker has been on assignment) to determine the average days or hours worked. This average should be used to underpin the calculation of 80% of gross pay to the £2,500 cap. If contingent workers have already claimed Statutory Sick Pay this will be deducted in order to bring the total payment to 80% of gross pay up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.

Could you help in the fight against coronavirus? If you are returning to work on a temporary contract, Contracting Scout can assist with the administration of your billing and invoicing requirements to ensure you are set up quickly and paid promptly. To talk to a member of our team, call:  0203 603 1878

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