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

Supply teachers and the 80% salary scheme 

Following the government’s announcement on Friday 20 March 2020 about the employment and wage subsidy package being put in place amid the coronavirus pandemic, we have already received a number of enquiries from concerned supply staff. Please be assured that we are trying to clarify what this package means for all supply staff and we will, of course, communicate this to you once further information is given by the government.

We would recommend that in the first instance you please direct any relevant queries or questions to directly to your supply agency.

Government's support packages are moving very quickly and we’re trying to clarify what this means for supply teachers and support staff and whether they are covered by the new scheme. We too want to understand what this means in practice for self-employed, agency staff or those on zero hours contract. The truth is at the moment we just don’t know, but we are trying to find out. As soon as we know we will update this page.


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.