A woman has described how her life has been turned “upside down” after she was made redundant two weeks into her new job after her new employer was forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic, leaving her unable to claim money from the Government.
Swansea city centre resident Tara Golding says she has “fallen through the cracks” of the Government’s Job Retention Scheme support because she started her new job after February 28.
Under the scheme, the Government Treasury says all employees registered on a company’s PAYE system on or before February 28 will be eligible to have their salary paid who would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.
This applies to employees who have been asked to stop working, but who are being kept on the pay roll, otherwise described as ‘furloughed workers’.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will pay employers a grant worth 80% of an employee’s usual wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that subsidised wage.
Find out more about what being furloughed means
But 24-year-old Miss Golding, originally of Swindon, started her new job as an assistant manager at Bunkers on Little Wind Street on March 1, a matter of two days later.
She had previously been employed at Vue cinemas for two and a half years.
She explained: “I was offered a new job opportunity with more pay, and a better position so of course, as anyone would, I took the job.
“Just shy of two weeks into my new position which I started on March 1, Covid-19 hit us bad and due to it being a leisure business we were forced to close.
“Due to my short employment with the company I was one of the unfortunate ones to be made redundant. Of course I was devastated.
“I’ve worked from the age of 15 and never had a gap in employment, I’ve never claimed, and I’ve paid my taxes. Shortly after this I found out that I am not supported by the Government scheme due to the fact I started a slim two days after the cut off.”
Miss Golding described the devastating impact it has had on her life.
“All of a sudden my life is upside down,” she said.
“I am unable to cover the costs of my rent and bills, I’m worried about falling into financial turmoil.
“Where I rent at the moment is £700 a month and then you have council tax and bills and food shopping on top of that.
“Universal Credit doesn’t come close to covering my bills and the advice given by my local MP and other members of the Government is that my only hope of retrieving any income from the job retention scheme is if my previous employer agrees (but has no obligation) to rehire me and put me in furlough to claim the 80% from the government.
“There’s a petition with over 56,000 signatures to fight to move the cut off date or have a solution to be able to fund people in my same predicament.”
If you wish to sign the petition, you can do so by clicking here.
HMRC has been contacted for comment.