What's happening with my job with Coronavirus?

Key workers

We know many students work in key worker industries and first of all we'd like to thank you for your service and action during this time. We're incredibly proud of how many of you are on the frontline during this crisis. You are truly showing Service Before Self and part of why we're so proud to be UCB.

Government advice is changing daily, and the latest information on support for workers, public services and businesses can be found here, while the government's critical workers' list is available here

It is essential that as key workers, you are able to carry out your work as safely as possible with the right protective equipment and support from your workplace. We would encourage all students to join their relevant trade union to ensure they get the safety they deserve.


I'm sick from work with Coronavirus, or I'm self isolating on government advice. Am I entitled to sick pay?


Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) will now be available for eligible individuals diagnosed with Coronavirus or those who are unable to work because they are self-isolating in line with Government advice. This will be payable from day 1 of sickness rather than day 4, as is usual, and is expected to be backdated to 13 March.

People who are advised to self-isolate for will be able to obtain an alternative to the fit note to cover this by contacting NHS 111, rather than visiting a doctor. This can be used by employees where their employers require evidence.


My workplace has closed, will I be paid?

On 20th March, the Government announced they would be introducing the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which will provide employers with financial support to continue paying workers laid off (or “furloughed” as they are referring to lay off) because of the Coronavirus outbreak:

  • The scheme will pay up to 80% of workers’ wages (capped at £2,500 per month) from 1 March 2020. 

  • The scheme includes all workers that are paid by PAYE and were on the payroll on 28 February 2020, including those on zero hour, casual, part-time and agency contracts.

  • If your pay varies, the government funding is an average of your pay during the last 2019/20 tax year or your pay for the same month last year (whichever is higher).

  • Your employer must lay you off for a period of at least three weeks to claim funding. They should still pay your wages when they are due.

  • Your employment rights continue whilst you are laid off.

  • If you are not available for work due to sickness absence is not treated as being laid off for the purposes of the statutory scheme. But when your sickness ends you can be paid under the scheme.

  • Employees who are shielding in line with public health guidance can be paid under the scheme.

  • The scheme covers employees who have been made redundant since 28 February 2020, if they are rehired by their employer.

This means there is no reason employers need to lay off anyone without pay or make any redundancies. Employers can re-employ anyone they have already dismissed and obtain funding to pay their wages. If your employer is not paying you, please let us know by emailing guildinfo@ucb.ac.uk or using our online chat function on the website - while we cannot represent you in any such cases, we are looking to collect information on bad employers across the city to challenge these practices.  

The latest government guidance regarding the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme can be accessed here.


I'm a student staff member at UCB, will I be paid?

We are asking that UCB put all student staff at UCB on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, and that they also pay all student staff 100% of their assessed wages, not just 80%. The University have refused to do this for any students employed through Uni Temps, despite guaranteeing this for all staff employed directly by the University. Please visit our Support our Students campaign page for more information and to sign up to support this.