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 3rd September 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.
Mental Health Support
People suffering from eating disorders would have particularly been impacted during the pandemic, please see the linked support article - https://youngminds.org.uk/blog/coping-with-an-eating-disorder-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic/
The pandemic has increased diagnosis of stress and burnout, please see the linked article discussing how to identify and recover from Burnout - https://www.careercontessa.com/advice/recover-from-burnout/. Please seek professional advice from your GP and/or mental health professional.
Salary – Employed and Self-employed support
Working from home? How to claim for additional expenses. It's been more than 5mths since millions were required to work from home, though some have since gone back. If it's created increased costs (eg, bigger energy bills), you can ask your employer to pay you £6/wk tax-free (but with many firms struggling, that may be tricky). Or, there's a tax break you can claim yourself, which for 20% taxpayers is worth £1.20/wk, and for 40% payers it's £2.40/wk. Full details, incl how and when to claim, in Martin's home working blog (with thanks to MSE)
Ends Sunday. Get a train season ticket refund for unused journeys in the past 8 weeks. That's on top of the usual refunds available for the portion that covers future travel you do not want to use. Claim backdated train refunds
Eat out to help out – extended at several pubs and restaurants, here is what you need to know - https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/12505022/eat-out-help-out-september-deals-extended/?utm_campaign=sunmainfacebook&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook#Echobox=1598720764
- 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