Information for supply teachers & contractors - coronavirus | Education Support
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Information for supply teachers - coronavirus

Information for supply teachers & contractors - coronavirus

We have put together some key information for supply teachers who may be worried about their financial situation during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Firstly we would recommend that you check the governments website for more information on Statutory Sick Pay and Universal Credit – you can do so here

I am an agency supply teacher. Will I get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) from my agency if I fall ill with coronavirus or am unable to work for another coronavirus-related reason?

The rules around SSP are complex, but broadly if you are on an assignment or you’ve agreed to another assignment when you fall ill, you may be entitled to SSP until that assignment ends, subject to certain eligibility criteria.  If you are not working when you get ill, you won’t be eligible for SSP but may be able to claim Employment & Support Allowance or Universal Credit.

Will I get paid if schools close to reduce the risk of infection?

If you are a supply worker who works on daily and short-term bookings, unfortunately you may not be entitled to receive any pay if the schools are closed as there will be no work available – we would recommend that you contact your supply agency to confirm this.

If you are in a long-term supply booking and the school you are placed in closes, it is at the school's discretion whether or not to pay for those days. Please discuss this with your supply agency.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme 

The government’s scheme to support 80% of the salaries for ‘furloughed’ workers will apply to supply staff paid through PAYE if supply teachers have been on a PAYE payroll on or before 28 February 2020.

Payment will be based on the higher amount of the calculations below (up to a capped amount of £2,500):

  • The same month’s earning from the previous year
  • Average monthly earnings from the 2019-20 tax year
  • If a person has been on the payroll less than one year, the average of their monthly earnings since they started work
  • If a person only started in February 2020, a pro-rata for earnings so far.

Supply staff must agree to being ‘furloughed’ and to remaining on the employers’ payroll for the foreseeable future. Those registered with multiple agencies can be furloughed through each employer separately and must contact their respective agencies to discuss arrangements.

Supply staff employed or pay-rolled through umbrella companies or payroll bureau’s must also contact their respective payroll providers. These companies administer the payroll and have the PAYE reference number to which HMRC will apply the grant. For further information, go to:


It is essential that you are fully aware of your eligibility for state benefits; we would strongly recommend that you use either the Entitled to benefits calculator or the Turn2Us version.

Both are free to use and you can print or save your results.  

You can apply for Universal Credit here.

Additional support

You may be able to receive further assistance from our helpline or your union.

Our helpline

We do appreciate that you may be experiencing a high level of stress and anxiety at the moment and that the uncertainty of your circumstances could be making this worse. Our counselling team can help with any issue, personal or professional, to get you back on track. If you would like to discuss anything  please feel free to contact our confidential helpline 24/7 on 08000 562 561.