From April 2023 the Department for Communities (DfC) in Northern Ireland will start the process of moving some Tax Credit claimants from their current benefit onto Universal Credit (UC) in a project known as ‘Move to UC’. This is called ‘managed migration’ which means the move to UC is not because of a change in the claimant’s personal circumstances but as a result of the changes in the welfare system.
How will this change happen?
Between April 2023 and March 2024, a number of people living in Northern Ireland, who are in receipt of Tax Credits only, will receive a Migration Notice letter telling them that they need to claim Universal Credit (UC). Please do not ignore this letter, as it could result in your Tax Credits stopping.
To discuss this and how a future claim for Universal Credit may impact you, as well as other benefit issues you can call us on 02892 662251 for a free, personalised ‘better off’ calculation.
Here are a few tips to help reduce energy cost.
Switch off standby
You can save around £65 (£45 in NI) a year just by remembering to turn your appliances off standby mode.
Turn off lights
Turn your lights off when you’re not using them or when you leave a room. This will save you around £25 (£19 in NI) a year on your annual energy bills.
Replacing all the lights in your home with LED bulbs could help you save even more
Careful with your washing
You can save around £34 (£15 in NI) a year from your energy bill just by using your washing machine more carefully:
Use your washing machine on a 30-degree cycle instead of higher temperatures.
Reduce your washing machine use by one run per week for a year.
Avoid using a tumble dryer for your clothes: dry clothes on racks inside where possible or outside in warmer weather to save £70 (£65 in NI) a year.
Spend less time in the shower
Keeping your shower time to just 4 minutes could save a typical household £95 (£35 in NI) a year on their energy bills.
Swap your bath for a shower
Some of us might enjoy a long soak in the bath but swapping just one bath a week with a 4-minute shower could save you £20 (£6 in NI) a year on your energy bills.
Find out how saving water at home can help your wallet and the environment.
Be savvy in the kitchen
Kettles are one of the most used appliances in the kitchen. But many of us will admit that we at least occasionally boil the kettle with more water than we’re going to use.
Avoid overfilling the kettle and save yourself £13 (£12 in NI) a year on your electricity bill.
You could also consider fitting an aerator onto your existing kitchen tap to reduce the amount of water coming out without affecting how it washes or rinses. An aerator is a small gadget with tiny holes – they attach to the spout of taps and are cheap and easy to install – and could save you £30 (£30 in NI) a year.
Fill your dishwasher
Only run your dishwasher when it is full to reduce the amount of water you use. Reducing your dishwasher use by one run per week for a year could save you £17 (£15 in NI).
Top up the insulation
Effective insulation of your hot water cylinder is important: even if you have thin spray foam or a loose 25mm jacket, you can benefit from increasing the insulation to a British Standard Jacket 80mm thick, saving £70 (£45 in NI) a year in the process.
Insulating your water tank, pipes and radiators is a quick and easy way to save money on your bills.
Draught-proof windows and doors
Unless your home is very new, you will lose some heat through draughts around doors and windows, gaps around the floor, or through the chimney.
Professional draught-proofing of windows, doors and blocking cracks in floors and skirting boards can cost around £225, but can save around £125 (£55 in NI) a year on energy bills. DIY draught proofing can be much cheaper.
Some information regarding 'Furloughed & Furloughing' Employees & Workers.
**Please note this information is ever changing and is correct as at 31/03/20
1) To qualify as a 'furloughed' worker the business does not have to be closed but you cannot do any work when 'furloughed'
2) If you were moving to a new job and the offer has been withdrawn or delayed due to Coronavirus then you can go back to your previous employer and ask them to put you through as a 'furloughed' employee until all this is over. They will then claim the 80% and pass it on to you. This has been confirmed by the Treasury today 31/03/20. Your previous employer can rehire you to furlough you. So if needed ask them.
3) If an employee cannot work or does not want to work - such as pregnant employees, those with underlying health conditions, wants or has to self-isolate due to family members who are vulnerable etc (this list is not exhaustive and will cover many scenarios) then an employer can and should 'furlough' them and apply for the 80%. This also applies to key workers.
4) If you have been made redundant then your employer can revoke the redundancy and 'furlough' you until this is all over and you will receive 80% of your wage. The employer can then process the redundancy afterwards if redundancy still applies. Some written agreement may be required.
5) You must remain on 'furlough' for a minimum of 3 weeks and you can go on and off furlough as work dictates.
6) Agency workers can be paid through the scheme if they are on a PAYE system. Some are not and Agency Workers should check this with their Agency.
7) Those on Zero hours contracts are eligible
8) Average wage is determined by the following:
If you’ve been employed (or engaged by an employment agency in the case of agency workers) for a full year, employers will claim for the higher of either; the amount you earned in the same month last year or an average of your monthly earnings from the last year
If you’ve been employed for less than a year, employers will claim for an average of your monthly earnings since you started work. The same applies if your monthly pay varies such as zero-hour contracts.
If you started work in February 2020, your employer should pro-rata your earnings from that month.
Bonuses, commissions and fees are not included as part of your monthly earnings.
If you have any questions then give us a ring on 02892662251
Ensuring everyone has access to high quality & professional advice & advocacy in relation to their rights, entitlements & responsibilities.