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Advice from Moneysavingexpert.com

Advice taken from Money Saving Expert www.moneysavingexpert.com/

Topping up prepaid energy may be difficult if self-isolating, but some firms will help. If you're self-isolating, those with a smart meter can top up remotely (via phone, app or online). If not and you have a trusted person who can help, let them take your key and card to the shop (it may need disinfecting first). 

Otherwise, some firms say they can help, eg, Bulb and EDF are able to post you a preloaded top-up card or key with emergency credit. Not all are so proactive though, see Energy firm-by-firm prepaid top-up help.

 

Struggling to pay your rent? Urgently speak to your landlord. The Chancellor has sadly not yet announced direct help for renters, though he's hinted there may be more to come in the next couple of days.

This is a more difficult area, as it's often a relationship between two individuals, and landlords may be relying on the income just as much as you are. Explain your situation, and if necessary, ask if you can be allowed more time to pay your rent.

Remember, most landlords will struggle to get new tenants right now, so there's a common interest in keeping tenants in properties. Trying to come to a reasonable mutual arrangement helps both. The landlords' associations have encouraged them to show forbearance, so good communication is key. See Renters' help.

If your child's school closes you've a right to take time off work to look after them - but it may be UNPAID. While the Govt's so far decided against mass school closures, it's warned these may be necessary for up to 16 weeks. If this happens (or your childminder/nursery shuts), by law you can take a reasonable amount of time off to look after your kids.

But as you're not sick or self-isolating, you don't get sick pay, and you don't legally have a right to be paid for this time (we hope this may change in announcements the Chancellor's due to make over the next couple of days). Some employers will offer paid time off though, so check or see if you can take it as paid holiday. Info & updates in Childcare work rights.

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