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Pay: Coronavirus

Treasury written question – answered on 21st May 2020.

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Photo of Bell Ribeiro-Addy Bell Ribeiro-Addy Labour, Streatham

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to ensure that (a) furloughed workers who are usually paid (i) variable salaries and (ii) tronc and (b) other furloughed workers receive a level of income at least equivalent to the minimum wage.

Photo of Stephen Morgan Stephen Morgan Shadow Minister (Defence) (Armed Forces and Defence Procurement), Shadow Minister (Defence)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the financial effect on supply teachers who are employed by umbrella companies of receiving 80 per cent of the national minimum wage as a result of a standard clause in umbrella company contracts during the covid-18 outbreak.

Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

The National Minimum Wage (NMW) is calculated on the basis of hours worked, and furloughed workers will not be working any hours for their employer, although they will remain employed by them. Furloughed workers will be paid the lower of 80% of their salary or £2,500, even if, based on their usual working hours, this would be below the NMW. Employers can top up these payments voluntarily.

The Government is also supporting people on low incomes who need to rely on the welfare system through a significant package of temporary measures. These include a £20 per week increase to the Universal Credit standard allowance and Working Tax Credit basic element, and a nearly £1bn increase in support for renters through increases to the Local Housing Allowance rates for Universal Credit and Housing Benefit claimants. These changes will benefit new and existing claimants. Anyone can check their eligibility and apply for Universal Credit by visiting https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit.

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