CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)

Now more than ever we are at a very critical time to help each other and support those most vulnerable to the outbreak of Covid-19.

Here in the UK and on a global scale, the virus is having a major effect on us all and at Mercury HR we want to put together a platform where we can support you.

As the UK responds to the outbreak of the coronavirus, as new data for advice comes in from the Government, this is an ever changing subject and we as HR professionals are doing our best to keep up with the advice and information provided to us.

Staying At Home

You should only leave the house for one of four reasons:

  • shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.

  • one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household.

  • any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.

  • travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.

These four reasons are exceptions - even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household.

These measures must be followed by everyone. Separate advice is available for individuals or households who are isolating, and for the most vulnerable who need to be shielded. Where parents do not live in the same household, children under 18 can be moved between their parents’ homes.

information provided by GOV.UK.

Looking After Your Family's Well Being

Whilst most of the population are staying indoors as much as they can, here are some tips to help you along the way;

Connect - Maintaining social distancing is crucial but also keeping in touch with friends and family by telephone or video call applications such as Skype, Facetime, Facebook messenger and Whatsapp.

Manage your stress - If someone is increasing your worry or anxiety, consider limiting the time you spend with them or letting them know how its effecting you.

Find balance - Keep informed and up to date on what’s happening around you.

Keep active – You can go for a walk once a day on your own or with members of your household, just remember to maintain social distancing and wash your hands when you get in doors.

Find the fun – the garden isn’t just for kids!

Eat a balanced diet- Eat your 5 a day, drink as much water as you can but a little treat every now and then won't harm you.

Find your quiet time - work together in your house hold to make some time for yourselves.

 

Spreading Hope Through Rainbows

Primary School Children across the UK are using there artistic skills by putting up pictures of rainbows in there household windows to uplift people passing by there homes.

The original idea came from a primary school in Newcastle, after the announcement of the closure of schools to everyone except Key Workers it soon picked up online with the hashtag #spreadthecolour trending on social media.

A representative from the school said: "We are hoping to spread our cheerful windows campaign as wide as possible. Signs are going up in windows all over our area and beyond and will really help maintain morale for children (and families) in these difficult times."

Financial Advice 

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Help With Mortgages

Due to the effect that COVID-19 (Coronavirus) will have on mortgage borrowers, the government has arranged that mortgage lenders will support customers that are experiencing issues with their finances as a result of Covid-19, including through payment holidays of up to 3 months. This will give people the necessary time to recover and ensure they do not have to pay a penny towards their mortgage in the interim.

Customers who would like to take up the option of the 3 month holiday are to contact the mortgage lenders directly.

Please don't cancel your direct debit as you will possibly be in default.

Handling Your Money

•Don’t ignore your bills!

•Speak to the company you need to pay as you might be able to pay a lower amount or take a payment break

•It’s worth checking with your bank or building society - they might be able to help you any debt or let you delay loan or credit card repayments

•Make sure you only use trusted sources - don’t give money or personal details to anyone you don’t know or trust

•you might be able to claim benefits or get more money on your current benefits

•Speak with your landlord – see if you can agree a lower amount or take a payment break

•If you have a prepayment meter speak with the company for advice – there are many things they can do to help

What Is Furlough?

The word furlough generally means temporary leave of
absence from work.  This can be due to
economic conditions affecting one particular company or matters affecting the
country as a whole. Until now the expression has not carried any meaning in UK
employment law.
Furlough leave has been introduced by the government
during the coronavirus pandemic to mean leave offered which keeps employees on
the payroll without them working. As the furloughed staff are kept on the
payroll, this is different to being laid off without pay or being made
redundant.
People who get furloughed must not work for the
employer during the period of furlough but usually return to their job
afterwards unless redundancies follow.