Update: Coople continues operating furlough scheme in August

Update: Coople continues operating furlough scheme in August

Since March, Coople has been supporting many of you via the government’s furlough (job retention) scheme. In our previous update, we indicated an end date of 31st July for these payments. We are very pleased to be able to now extend the scheme to the end of August.

What are the latest updates?

  • Since 1st July you are eligible for ‘Flexible Furlough’. This means that you can take shifts on the Coople platform and you will be topped up to the level of your furlough payments.
  • From 1st August the financial burden to Coople of continuing the Job Retention Scheme increases. Employers are required to pay the National Insurance and Pension contributions of those employees on furlough. While we have more and more jobs on the platform, we know that the easing of lock down measures has not yet led to the return of jobs in the way the government, and all of us, had hoped.

What actions are we taking?

We have decided to continue operating the job retention scheme during August to provide our most loyal workers financial security throughout the summer.

What does that mean for you?

  • There is no action required if you wish to continue receiving Furlough payments from Coople in August. If you do not need continued payments from the Furlough scheme because you have found alternative work, please notify us and we will remove you from the scheme
  • If you wish to take advantage of Flexible Furlough to keep building your skills and ratings on our platform, you can work as many shifts as you like. This is a great way to lock in those longer-term jobs, and potentially increase your income again, especially if your furlough payments haven’t been very high.
  • To help you plan, we do not expect to continue operating the Furlough scheme after August (last payment will be on Friday 28th August). Our cost of operating the programme will increase further in September and our job forecast looks very healthy.

We are very pleased to be able to continue to support you in this way. Our mission is to help you reach your goals and we know that financial security is very important to be able to do this.

The signs of burnout and how to recover

The signs of burnout and how to recover

Burnout is a state of physical, mental and emotional exhaustion caused by overexertion and excessive and prolonged stress. Symptoms include frequent illness and lowered immunity, constant fatigue, loss of motivation and reduced performance. It’s by no means a rare phenomena, either – a study found that over 600,000 UK workers suffered from work-related anxiety, depression or stress in 2018 and 2019. The same study also found that a staggering 12.8 million working days were lost due to burnout symptoms. Research has also shown that burnout not only affects your wellbeing, your brain(!) and performance, but can cause strain on relationships too. And it’s not just work – accumulated stress in our daily lives as a result of major change or challenges can be the culprit too. Due to its widespread effects, prevention and treatment is key.

Signs of pre-burnout

Pre-burnout and depression share many similar symptoms, including but not limited to:

  • Increased cynicism and negative outlook
  • Persistent tiredness
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Increased sugar/alcohol consumption
  • Decreased quality of work

Overcoming burnout

We’ve gathered a number of tips to guide you through overcoming mild cases of burnout below. In more severe cases, we advise our Cooplers to reach out to more appropriate sources of support such as your local GP and online NHS mental health support lines for advisory guidance. Remember, you are not alone in your struggle!

Find a healthy work-life balance

As the Coople mantra goes: work to live, don’t live to work! Life is about more than just the 9-5 (or whatever flexible hours you choose as a Coopler) grind. Pursue creative endeavours, invest time in your interests and social life to reconnect with life outside of work and deadlines.

Take time for yourself

Exercise, a quality sleep schedule, nourishing meals and proper “me time” – these are all touted regularly as treatments for stress and other similar ailments, but for good reason. Having a solid self care routine can do wonders for the busy individual, so make sure you’re setting time aside each day to disconnect from work and focus on yourself and your wellbeing.

Set boundaries

If you’re reaching capacity on what you can manage in your personal and work life, don’t be afraid to take a stance and say “no”. If you’re feeling on the cusp of (pre)burnout, it’s also a good idea to take a step back to assess the underlying cause. Are you working too many long nights? Is the job hunt overwhelming you? Are your social obligations, fitness goals and home life on top of your work aspirations too much to balance? Once you pinpoint the root, you can begin recuperating.

Remember: if you’re suffering from (pre)burnout, there are sources of support you can reach out to. We encourage you to speak to your GP or call the NHS by dialing 111 for advice on treatment and recovery. Alternatively, you can reach out to our team at +44 20 8338 9333 for advice and further support.

Working during the COVID-19 crisis: Guidelines for Cooplers

Working during the COVID-19 crisis: Guidelines for Cooplers

Updated on 01.06.20

Dear Cooplers,

Following the update of official guidelines by the government and further to our previous advice about working during the COVID-19 crisis, Coople continues to fully support the national effort to tackle the virus. We keep monitoring advice from Public Health England, NHS and Health & Safety Executive and will review and update this advice as and when necessary.

Social distancing is a public health measure fundamental to reduce the spread of infection and we are in constant contact with all our clients to address any concern raised on social distancing within the workplace.

To reduce social contact while working during the COVID-19 crisis, the government has required by law that some businesses and venues close to members of the public.

Some businesses and services, identified as essential or able to operate with social distancing measures in place, remain open and continue to operate. From Monday 1st June some types of business are allowed to resume operations, with more types allowed to do so from 15th June. Employers who have people in their offices or on site should ensure that employees are able, where possible, to follow Public Health England (PHE) guidelines on social distancing (including, where possible, maintaining a 2 metre distance from others), and hygiene (washing their hands with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds).

Coople is liaising with all clients to ensure that PHE guidelines are followed at all times however, these guidelines also recognise that in some specific settings it may not be possible to follow in full the guidance on social distancing. In that case employers must take all the mitigating actions possible to reduce the risk of transmission between their staff. Potential mitigating actions are set out in these illustrative industry examples.


Ultimately, we rely on everybody’s cooperation and sense of responsibility and we strongly advise all Cooplers who are working during the COVID-19 crisis to:

  • Do not travel to or attend work if you are unwell with symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • Stay at home if you or anybody in the household where you live develop symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) (a new, continuous cough and/or a high temperature) however mild. You must stay at home for at least 7 days from the onset of the symptoms, if after 7 days the symptoms worsen or are no better, contact NHS 111 online in line with the stay at home guidance
  • If you or anybody in the household where you live are vulnerable or extremely vulnerable, you should be following the guidance on shielding

You will be able to claim SSP if you are self-isolating or shielding, contact info@coople.com or hr@coople.com for more information on SSP

If you are working on site with a client

  • Only attend work if you are free of any symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) (a new, continuous cough and/or a high temperature, loss of sense of taste/smell)
  • Follow the client’s Health & Safety procedures in full and at all times
  • Remember to wash hands for 20 seconds more frequently and catch coughs and sneezes in tissues
  • Frequently clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are touched regularly, using standard cleaning products
  • Where possible remain 2 metres apart, check if there are floor markings to mark the distance, particularly in the most crowded areas (for example, where queues form)
  • Where it is not possible to remain 2 metres apart, you should work side by side, or facing away from each other, rather than face to face if possible
  • Where face-to-face contact is essential, this should be kept to 15 minutes or less wherever possible
  • If you are travelling to your workplace you will still need to observe the social distancing guidance whilst you are travelling, as far as is practical. Social distancing means staying 2 metres apart from other people
  • If you’re using public transport, you may want to wear face covering

We are supporting a number of businesses that are either classed as essential or can operate with social distancing measures in place and in all cases, we are keeping in close contact with them to ensure that they take all the possible steps to ensure safe conditions for all Cooplers.

What we are asking businesses who are working during the COVID-19 crisis

  • Whether they are considered “essential” and/or are allowed to operate. This include the food chain (production, distribution, processing, sale and delivery of goods), transport and deliveries of goods, postal services, health and social care, utilities (gas, electricity, water and telecommunications), outdoor markets and other services.
  • If the business is not considered essential, we ask clients to ensure that work can be carried out respecting the social distancing guidance
  • Provide additional pop-up hand washing stations or facilities if possible, providing soap, water, hand sanitiser and tissues and encourage staff to use them
  • Where it is possible to remain 2 metres apart, use floor markings to mark the distance, particularly in the most crowded areas (for example, where queues form)
  • Where it is not possible to remain 2 metres apart, staff should work side by side, or facing away from each other, rather than face to face if possible
  • Where face-to-face contact is essential, this should be kept to 15 minutes or less wherever possible
  • As much as possible, keep teams of workers together (cohorting), and keep teams as small as possible
  • Splitting staff into teams with alternate day and night shift
  • Spreading out standard processes, so that only one team needs to be on the premises to complete a task at a given time
  • Ensure frequent cleaning and disinfecting of objects and surfaces that are touched regularly, using standard cleaning products and particularly at the end and beginning of shifts
Additionally, for customer-facing businesses
  • Use signage to direct movement into lanes, if feasible, while maintaining a 2 metre distance
  • Regulate entry so that the premises do not become overcrowded
  • Use additional signage to ask customers not to enter the premises if they have symptoms
  • If feasible, place plexiglass barriers at points of regular interaction as an additional element of protection for workers and customers (where customers might touch or lean against these, ensure they are cleaned and disinfected as often as is feasible in line with standard cleaning procedures)

Your health and wellbeing are of the utmost importance so please be responsible when accepting and/or attending work and if you are still unsure whether you’re supposed to go into work or not, just contact us by phone or email at info@coople.com or hr@coople.com.

Kind regards,

Your Coople Team

Financial support for Cooplers during COVID-19

Financial support for Cooplers during COVID-19

During these exceptional times, we want to support you, our Cooplers, who rely on us for reaching your regular earnings goals, as much as you support us all year round with your commitment and dedication. We are pleased to let you know that a large number of Cooplers will be able to join the Government’s Job Retention Scheme and we can therefore pay you a part of your regular Coople earnings for March, April, and potentially May.

You will qualify for this scheme, if:

  • You have received at least 1 payslip in February 2020 AND

  • You worked with Coople for a minimum of 10 shifts between 01/01/2020 and 31/03/2020 OR you earned more than £5,000 with Coople in the 2019/2020 tax year

These criteria are based on government rules and guidance, which we have to follow to ensure that we, as a business, qualify for the scheme.

How does the Job Retention Scheme work?

  • We will reach out directly to all Cooplers who qualify for the scheme, letting you know how much money you can receive, and what you need to do to participate. Please look out for these messages, which will be sent via Email by April 8th, as you need to opt in before you can receive any payments.

  • If you qualify, you will receive 80% of your average weekly earnings with Coople in the 2019/2020 tax year, including holiday pay. Normal tax and NI deductions will also apply and you will receive these payments on the same paying schedule as you normally receive your Coople salary.

  • While being on furlough, you will not be able to work shifts with Coople. However, there are no restrictions on you finding work with other employers. If you receive universal credit or other benefits, your payments might change because your earnings will vary.

We hope that you will find this financial contribution helpful during these testing weeks. The Coople team is doing everything we can to help you and your fellow Cooplers. If you have any questions, please have a look at our FAQ below. If you still can’t find what you are looking for, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our team.

In the meantime, please stay safe and keep well!


FAQ

When will I know whether I qualify?

We will reach out to all Cooplers who qualify by April 8th via Email. If you would like to participate in the scheme please respond to the Email by 12th April 2020.

How do the qualification criteria work?
  • HMRC have decided that only temporary workers who received a payslip by their staffing agency in February 2020 can participate in that agency’s scheme.
  • The aim of the scheme is to support businesses who cannot maintain their current workforce, because their operations have been severely affected by coronavirus. If you worked for more than 10 shifts with us between January and March 2020, or you earned more than £5,000 with Coople in the 2019/2020 tax year, we consider you to be a member of our regular workforce, who relies on income from Coople for a significant portion of your income. If you only work with us occasionally, we recommend that you reach out to the employers (firms or staffing platforms) where you earn the majority of your income and enquire about their job retention schemes.
Why do different staffing agencies use different qualification criteria?
  • The Job Retention Scheme is new and has been designed by the government very quickly. As a result of that, it left room for interpretation on which staffing agency workers qualify.
  • We can assure you that our HR, Finance and Operations teams have worked hard to design criteria that support as many workers as possible and are still in line with the intention of the government’s scheme. We are certain that all of our competitors have done the same.
How much money can I get if I qualify?

If you qualify, you will receive 80% of your average weekly earnings with Coople in the 2019/2020 tax year, including holiday pay, and up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. Normal tax and NI deductions will also apply. You will receive these payments on the same paying schedule as you normally receive your Coople salary.

How do I know how much I earned on average in 2019/2020?

You can check out your payslip.

When will my furlough period start?

We can backdate the scheme up to March 1st. If you haven’t worked any shifts since March 1st, your furlough period will start on that day. If you have worked shifts after, it will start on the day following your last shift.

Do I have to agree to be furloughed?

Yes. If you are eligible for this scheme we will send you an email. Please read the email and respond by 12th April 2020 if you wish to be furloughed.

When will I be paid for March?

March payment will be paid on 17th April 2020.

Can I still work with other employers or agencies?

You are still permitted to work with other agencies whilst being furloughed by Coople

Can I be put on the Job Retention Scheme by more than one employer?

Yes. If you qualify for other agencies’ schemes, you can be furloughed by them as well. There is no maximum number of employers who can furlough you.

If there is work available at a later stage, do I get a choice about whether to go back to work or remain furloughed?

Once you are furloughed, you will not be permitted to work via Coople for a minimum of 3 weeks. After the initial 3 week period, if there is work available, Coople will reactivate your profile and you will be able to book shifts as usual.

What are my options if I don’t qualify for Coople’s Job Retention Scheme?
  • If you work more regularly or earn more money with another employer or staffing agency, we recommend that you get in touch with them and enquire about their Coronavirus Job Retention Schemes.
  • If you do not qualify for any of them, you might be eligible for Universal Credit or Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). You can find more information about your options here.
Goal setting traps to avoid

Goal setting traps to avoid

We’ve all been there: every New Year, we dream big and tell ourselves that this is the year we’ll finally get it together and achieve that long awaited goal. Then, a few months down the line, all attempts to keep up our resolutions are long gone and forgotten about. You’re not alone – research shows that ¼ of resolutions are abandoned within a week, and less than 1/10 people actually manage to keep their resolutions until the end of the year. Why does this happen? Well, it turns out there’s a science of sorts when it comes to making sure you get the most out of your resolution(s) – read on for 3 main pitfalls to watch out for when setting your goals.

Having unrealistic (and unachievable) goals

Taking the opportunity to change yourself for the better is always good, but it’s how we go about it that is key to success. Rather than pursuing big, fantastical but unattainable goals, it’s a good idea to focus on smaller, more realistic goals to ensure that you have the best possible chance of achieving whatever it is you set out to do.

Expecting immediate results

Don’t lose hope – good things come to those who wait. On average, it takes around 2 months to form a habit and for behaviour to become automatic. It takes time for you to see results from all the hard work you put in towards your goals, so don’t be put off if it takes longer than expected to get to where you want to be. Slow and steady wins the race!

Lack of support

No matter how independent you are, we can all benefit from a bit of support to encourage us to keep going on the days motivation run low. Support can come from many different sources – friends, family, and even paid coaches and counsellors.

Now you have all the important tips for successful goal setting and achievement. Good luck! 

COVID-19 advice for Cooplers: which government help can you get?

COVID-19 advice for Cooplers: which government help can you get?

We’re aware a lot of you may be worried about how the current situation will affect your working status and finances, and we want you to know that we are here to guide you. If your working situation has been affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19), here’s an overview of support measures that may be available to you:

If you are too ill to work or if you are self-isolating because of COVID-19, you could be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). SSP is paid by your employer – Coople, if you are a Coopler – so you will need to let us know if you are ill. There are some eligibility criteria you will need to meet, so we will need to ask a few simple questions as each case is different. We are assessing cases as quickly as we can and will confirm whether you are eligible for SSP as soon as possible. You can find out more information about SSP here.

If you do not qualify for SSP, you may still be eligible to claim benefits such as Universal Credit, a payment to help with your living costs and is paid monthly. As a result of the current situation, the government has announced that those whose work is affected by COVID-19 will be able to apply for Universal Credit and may receive up to a month’s advance upfront without physically attending a job centre. You can find out more about the eligibility criteria and how you may be able to claim it here and here.

If you are unsure which other forms of support you can turn to, you can use the anonymous, government-provided Benefits Calculator here. Please note that in order to use this service, you will need accurate information regarding your savings, income, existing benefits and pensions, outgoings and council tax bill at hand. Additionally, please note these services are only available to British or Irish citizens within the UK – those who are under 18, are students or prisoners, on strike or living outside the UK or permanently within residential or care homes will not receive accurate results.

If you are able to work, we also encourage you to read our blog article on how you can adapt your profile to find flexible work over the next few weeks, which you can find here. Whilst some sectors are inactive to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, there are still sectors that are quite busy and are relying on a steady supply of flexible workers. As a result, we encourage those who are able and actively looking for work to adapt their profiles to the demand.

Additionally, as of 23/03/20, hospitality workers may apply for a one-off COVID-19 Emergency Grant, courtesy of Hospitality Action. We encourage all our Cooplers in hospitality to apply – find out more about the grant and your eligibility here.

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