During these times of uncertainty brought on by the coronavirus, those in the electrical trade may find not only their business and work being negatively impacted, but also their mental health. The Electrical Industries Charity (EIC) is keen to outline what support it can provide to industry members. Please read on for our 8th April update.
We understand this is a complex and difficult time for everyone. We are living in a time of great uncertainty and increasing worry about our health and livelihoods. We understand that the effect of COVID-19 on industry and income will be great and we will all be affected. In times of darkness and insecurity we want to let our Industry members know, that we will be here to help you.
Welfare benefit Support
Key updates – For individuals who are not eligible for UC because they have savings of £16,000 or more. If this is your circumstance you can apply for a The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is now available through participating lenders. This support is for both employees and business owners. The borrower remains fully liable for the debt – no early repayment fee for the first 12 months and it’s interest-free. Only available for self-employed people and small businesses, the borrowing amounts may be as low as £500 to £250,000. There is no personal guarantee required for loans under £250,000. For more information, please see https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils-2/
Important employer seeks written permission for furloughing and employee. And the employee accepting being furloughed also needs to be in writing – could be in a letter or an email. HMRC may ask for evidence of this later.
Majority of banks are now offering a mixture of the following:
- Increase overdraft up to £500 with no interest
- Nationwide say you can request an interest holiday on overdraft
- One or two no charges on late credit card payments
- Payment holidays of 3 months on loans, credit card payments on request
- Payment holidays on mortgages already in place
Check with your bank to see what is available to you.
Mental Health support
Feeling the pressure to be productive? https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/coronavirus-productivity_l_5e712a89c5b6eab7793de6c7
First Psychology Online has released a useful toolkit to support your mental health during the pandemic, it can be downloaded from their website https://www.firstpsychology-online.co.uk/news-detail.php?ID=72
Domestic Abuse support
- Always try and keep a mobile phone with you if possible. The police are a key service when in immediate danger. Do not be afraid to call 999 in an emergency.
- Now leaving might feel particularly difficult and you might be worried about having to leave your home in an emergency. If possible, pack an emergency bag for you and your children and keep it somewhere safe. Try to include essential things such as medication, identification, money or cards. Essential clothing for you and your children. - https://www.womensaid.org.uk/covid-19-coronavirus-safety-advice-for-survivors/
- Due to self- isolation staying with family and friends might not be an option. You might be finding it harder to secure a refuge. The Local Authority has a responsibility to give you information about your housing rights. - https://www.womensaid.org.uk/covid-19-coronavirus-safety-advice-for-survivors/
- Silent Solutions is a system for victims of domestic abuse who might be afraid of further danger and escalation of harm if they are overheard when calling 999 in an emergency. When somebody calls 999, an operator will ask which emergency service is required. If you are is not able to ask for help, your call will be forwarded to a police system and you will hear an automated message. - https://www.womensaid.org.uk/covid-19-coronavirus-safety-advice-for-survivors/
- If 55 is pressed by the caller, the system will detect this. The operator will then transfer the call to the relevant police force as an emergency. National helplines, email, text and live chat support services, and local specialist services, are currently open for business as usual. - https://www.womensaid.org.uk/covid-19-coronavirus-safety-advice-for-survivors/
- You might be particularly concerned about a family member or a friend now if they will be at home with their abuser. Always encourage them to call 999 in an emergency. Encourage them to reach out for online support such as Women’s Aid’s Survivors’ Forum, Live Chat or Email. Do not approach the perpetrator about their behaviour, this could escalate the abuse and put them in further danger. It is also important that you do not put yourself in a dangerous situation. - https://www.womensaid.org.uk/covid-19-coronavirus-safety-advice-for-survivors/
- Supportline provide a confidential telephone helpline and email counselling service. Particularly to those at risk of abuse or are isolated: www.supportline.org.uk
- The Survivors’ Forum is an online resource for survivors of domestic abuse. The Survivors’ forum can be accessed 24/7. This is a place where survivors can support each other and share their experiences. - https://www.womensaid.org.uk/covid-19-coronavirus-safety-advice-for-survivors/
- Women’s Aid Live Chat is currently available Monday to Friday 10- 12pm. This could be a safer way to access some support; particularly if an abuser might also be in the property so it would be unsafe to make a telephone call. - https://www.womensaid.org.uk/covid-19-coronavirus-safety-advice-for-survivors/
- Shelter provide free confidential housing information, support and legal advice on all housing and homelessness issues. They also have an emergency helpline: www.england.shelter.org.uk
- A Domestic Violence Protection Order can remove a perpetrator from the residence and from making contact with the survivor for up to 28 days. An Occupation Order is an injunction which removes an abusers’ rights to reside in the family home. Find out more information from Rights of Women: www.rightsofwomen.org.uk/get-advice/family-la
The charity like most industry will be financially burdened by the ramifications of COVID -19, but the welfare team are doing their best to provide both financial and emotional support to those in need. The charity is adapting its support service to help industry members through this pandemic.
Here is an outline of our available support services:
- The charity will consider providing small grants in immediate and urgent need.
- Provide advice to industry individuals regarding financial relief strategies and support services available to them.
- Provide support to employees worried about income, having to work and/or losing their employment.
- Strategies to implement immediately to soften the financial burden i.e. mortgage/rent holiday’s, freezing of gym memberships and others.
- Signposting to other welfare services and charities for support.
- Review of individual welfare benefits, your eligibility and support with the application process were necessary.
- Food vouchers if in immediate and urgent need.
Mental Health Support
- Self-isolation is likely to have a negative impact on our mental health and it is important we remain aware of this and try to buffer against it by putting support strategies in place. The EIC can recommend support strategies to help you cope through this time of isolation.
- Telephone and skype counselling are available to industry members.
- Psychiatric assessments for complex mental health issues are available to industry members.
- Signposting to other mental health support services and online services.
Symptoms, hygiene and self-isolation
- The EIC is recommending that individuals with pre-existing health conditions i.e. undergoing cancer treatment, heart disease, diabetes and others should self-isolated and managers need to be informed as soon as possible if you care for or reside with a family member or person who is deemed as having pre-existing health conditions. The EIC can provide further guidance to you if you feel unsure as to how to communicate this to your employer.
- Hygiene tips and resources
- Managing self-isolation