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Covid-19: Financial support announced for people with less than five years' residency

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ISLANDERS with less than five years' residency who lose their jobs during the coronavirus outbreak are to receive up to £150 per week from the government to help them meet their basic needs.

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But to qualify for payments under the Covid-19 Related Emergency Support Scheme (CRESS), applicants must make themselves available to support voluntary, government or community work during the pandemic.

They must also undertake relevant job-seeking activities and take up any paid employment that is available.

Separately, the Government Co-Funded Payroll Scheme has been launched, which will refund employers in eligible businesses a proportion of their wage bill.

This scheme covers various sectors, and includes many workers with less than five years' residence.

Phase 1 of the scheme has now been launched, offering subsidies to eligible employers of up to £200 per week per employee for the period 20-31 March.

Phase 2 will provide up to 80% of wages to eligible businesses from 1 April to 30 June 2020.

Workers should contact their employer to check if they are covered by the payroll scheme, which also covers self employed workers, who should contact the government.

A single registered worker who is not covered by the payroll scheme will receive £150 per week under the CRESS scheme, and a couple will receive £250.

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A child supplement of £50 per child will also be available.

Those who have been working in Jersey for less than six months will receive £70 per week.

Support with repatriation costs will be provided if travel arrangements can be made, the government has said.

The CRESS scheme is planned to end on 30 June and payments will be made weekly in arrears.

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Meanwhile, people with five years' residency who lose their jobs despite the payroll scheme are eligible for income support payments.

Social Security Minister Judy Martin, said: 'It is an important part of Jersey’s financial safety net that people need to be in the Island for five years before they can ask for help from income support.

'That is our “business as usual” and people who have been in the Island for less than five years don’t normally need help from the government.

'Today we face an extraordinary situation, where people who have come to the Island to work cannot support themselves, through no fault of their own.

'Some may be desperate to return home to family and friends, but must remain in Jersey for the time being.

'I am working with my ministerial colleagues to keep CRESS under review, along with the other financial and community schemes we have announced to deal with the impact of Covid-19, to ensure that we are delivering appropriate help to Islanders.'

To apply for help through the Covid-19 Related Emergency Support Scheme, email CRESS@gov.je or call 444444. The Customer and Local Services building in La Motte Street is currently closed with services being delivered online and by telephone.

Richard Heath

By Richard Heath
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