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Can I Work On Furlough: Working As A Carer

For those that have been placed on furlough leave by their employer, the Government Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme allows them to work for another company including the health care sector (dependent upon the existing contract with your main employer). This means that you can work as a carer during your period of leave, enabling you to not only give something back to your local community but to also earn money that you may have otherwise lost.

Find out how to apply to become a Helping Hands private carer and why working as a carer is one of the most rewarding jobs there is.

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What are my rights on furlough leave?

If you are directly employed by a company in the UK and they are not operating as usual due to the coronavirus outbreak, they can choose to put any of their employees on furlough leave so that they will still have a job and receive payment.

If you are furloughed, it is up to your company to apply to the Government scheme on your behalf which they must then agree with you in writing. To qualify for pay from the furlough scheme, you must have been employed on the 19th March 2020 or on your employer’s payroll on or before the 19th March 2020. You will then earn up to 80% of your salary at a limit of £2,500 per month.

For the Job Retention Scheme to operate, you are unable to carry out any duties for your regular job and you must be furloughed for a least three consecutive weeks to be eligible.

For those who are self-employed, it is slightly different. The COVID-19 Self-employment Income Support Scheme allows anyone who is self-employed or a member of a partnership to claim up to 80% of their profits at a limit of £2,500 every month.

Although the Job Retention Scheme has already opened to businesses across the UK on 20 April, the Self-employment Income Scheme will not be open for applications until May. Payments for both schemes will begin in June 2020. But in the meantime, providing your contract allows, you may be able to work for another company such as Helping Hands, supporting those most vulnerable at this time.

Why work as a carer?

Many people choose to become a carer because it has affected them personally, having seen a family member being cared for or indeed, care for them themselves during a long-term illness or during their later life. For others, care is more of a calling to them and something that they have chosen to dedicate their lives too. Some even choose care when they themselves retire and want to help their local community, or perhaps, like many people at the moment, it is a career break or change due to unprecedented circumstances like the coronavirus pandemic.

There are lots of reasons why people become carers, but the most important asset that we seek out when recruiting for care positions is the ability to be selfless and put the needs of another before your own. This innate kindness isn’t something that can be taught and has to be something that is naturally within you; we can provide training and assessments for the rest. And that is exactly what we do, along with enhanced Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) screenings and character references before you start with us.

If you choose to work for us, you can either work as a visiting carer in your local community – where you’ll call in on different customers during your working hours to provide care to them within their home – or as a live-in carer, where you will live with someone in their home and be on hand throughout the day and night to support them with their physical and emotional needs.

There are lots of benefits of becoming a carer, including:

  • Flexible working – choose the times and days you’re available to work to suit you
  • Award-winning training and assessment – enables you to have the knowledge and skills to care for someone guided by our in-house teams
  • Ongoing support from your branch and team
  • Competitive rates of pay
  • Mileage allowance

And it doesn’t stop there; nothing can beat the feeling that you’re helping someone in need that relies on you for the support and the reassurance that they require, particularly during the worrying times we find ourselves currently in.

Being a carer for someone who may have otherwise not seen anyone else during the current lockdown measures in place can make a real difference to those who are elderly or who have underlying health conditions. And it’s not just the physical aspects of care such as helping someone get washed and dressed or preparing meals and doing the vacuuming that matter – it’s the emotional aspects that are equally as important.

Many of our customers rely upon their carers like they would a relative and we often see mutual friendships develop between them both. Caring for someone else is so much more than just tending to the practicalities; it’s about taking the time to sit down with someone and have a chat over a cup of tea, or playing a game of chess with them or even just sitting with them in their garden and watching the world go by.

What it's like to be a carer

Safety measures in place for carers

We have been working tirelessly to ensure that all of our carers and office staff are protected during the coronavirus outbreak. Where possible, our staff work from home, but for our 6,000+ carers up and down the country, it has been business as usual, just with extra protection and precautions.

For some people considering working in the care industry, they may have some doubts about the amount of personal protective equipment (PPE) available to them, especially due to the highly publicised news stories surrounding PPE and the varying amounts of supplies to those in the health and social care sector. Here at Helping Hands, we ensure that all of our carers have the correct PPE in place to continue to care for those most vulnerable at the moment, including face masks, gloves and aprons.

We have strict policies in place when it comes to providing care to our customers, including ways of working and what to do if caring for someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. This is also in addition to the Government and NHS guidelines.

Carers really are the heart and soul of what we do and without them, we wouldn’t be where we are today and we wouldn’t be able to continue to deliver the high quality of care that we are renowned for during these unprecedented times.

Do something amazing today. Become a carer.

Apply now