Children's Law Centre ‘Rights House’ 127-131 Ormeau Road, Belfast, BT7 1SH

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Jobs and Benefits - COVID-19

Jobs and Benefits - COVID-19

  • If I lose my job because of COVID-19 can I get universal credit?

    Usually you can only claim Universal credit if you are over 18, however there are some exceptions if you are 16 or 17. You can check if you're likely to be accepted for universal credit using this calculator 10-minute Benefits Calculator or you can find out more information on

  • If I lose my job because of COVID-19 what are my rights?

    If you have lost your job or you are unable to do your work due to Covid-19, you can speak to your employer about being put on furlough. If this is not possible then you may be entitled to apply for universal credit. Contact Advice NI for more information on this.

  • Where do I go to get help about benefits if I can’t work because of COVID-19?

    You can contact Advice NI for more detailed information and advice on how COVID-19 might affect your job or benefits. Contact details and advice are available through the Advice NI website

  • What does furloughed mean?

    Furlough is basically a job retention scheme that means you can still get paid 80% of your wages if your job has been affected by COVID-19. It essentially means your job is being put on standby until normality resumes and you can go back to work as normal. If you are put on furlough, you won't be able to do any work for your employer or on their behalf until furlough ends.

  • How does Furlough work?

    If you have been on your employer’s payroll from 19th March 2020 then the government will pay your employer 80% of your salary or up to £2,500/month. Your employer can choose to top up your wage to the full 100% but they don’t have to. You also cannot do any work for your employer or on their behalf until furlough ends.

  • Am I entitled to be furloughed if I’m on zero hours contract?

    If you are on a zero hours contract and you are taxed through PAYE, then you should be entitled to be furloughed. Your 80% payment will be based on the higher of:

    • The amount you earned in the same month a year ago; OR
    • Your average earnings over the last 12 months if you have worked there for 12months. If you haven’t then it will be calculated using your average earnings over the amount of time you have worked for the company.

    You'll need to discuss furlough with your employer, or the relevant agency or umbrella company where applicable. If you are put on furlough, you won't be able to do any work for them or on their behalf until the furlough ends.

  • If I am furloughed for 3 weeks will I be guaranteed my job back again after lockdown?

    The hope is that by the time the Furlough scheme ends, restrictions will have lifted and you can return to work where your employer can start paying full wages again. But unfortunately, there is no guarantee that your employer will keep you on after the furlough scheme ends. This will depend on the circumstances of the individual business/employer.

  • Am I entitled to use a foodbank if I lose my job because of COVID-19?

    Yes, everyone is entitled to use a food bank whether you are employed or unemployed.

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REE - Rights Responder

REE - RIGHTS RESPONDERHey, welcome to REE Rights Responder

All you need to know about your rights (under 18)

You’re here because you need to find something out about your rights

All you need to do now is click on REE RIGHTS RESPONDER and ask your question


We are still working on REE and making it better everyday. If you do not get the information you need please let us know when prompted for feedback.






Just because you’re young doesn’t mean you don’t have rights. That begins with the right to ask and the right to be listened to and taken seriously. Knowing your rights can help you make better decisions and choices. Sometimes, it can even change your life!

When it comes to knowing about your rights and the law it’s important that you can trust what you’re told. That’s why we worked with young people and experts on the law to create REE for young people aged 13 to 17.

Sometimes, maybe all you want from REE is a quick answer to a quick question. Other times, things might be a bit more complicated. If it is, we’ll offer you the chance to talk to an expert on the phone or let you know where you can go for more help.

aaa REE GREEN 540x540Here are just some of the sorts of things young people like you ask REE


  • At what age am I allowed to get a tattoo?
  • At what age am I allowed to leave school?
  • At what age am I allowed to work?
  • At what age can I register with my own doctor?
  • At what age can I claim benefits?
  • What can I do if I’ve nowhere to sleep tonight?
  • Can the law help me get access to mental health services?

Please ensure you understand what confidentiality means when using REE by clicking HERE. The anonymous information we collect from REE gives us a better understanding of the legal problems of young people like you in NI. This helps CLC work towards improving the lives of all young people living in NI. We also recommend you view the REE DISCLAIMER NOTICE and read the PRIVACY POLICY before using REE.


Always there, always safe, always right,
always confidential, always anonymous, never judgemental


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Exams and Grades – Covid-19

Exams and Grades - COVID-19

If you need further information and legal advice on how COVID-19 might affect any aspect of your education you can speak to one of our legal advisors confidentially about your concerns.

Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • I am in 4th year (year 11), what will COVID -19 mean for my GCSEs?

    If you were due to sit exams that will lead to a final GCSE grade next summer, you will not receive a grade this summer. Instead you can choose to either:

    1. Sit only the exams you planned to take in 2021. This means that the exams you entered for in Summer 2020 will have a mark calculated using statistical predictions based on your performance in the 2021 exams; or
    2. Sit all the units in Summer 2021.

    Whichever option you choose, you will be awarded the highest grade.

  • How will my CCEA GCSEs be graded if I am in 5th year (year 12)?

    You will be issued a grade using a combination of average centre performance, centre assessed grades and rank ordering.

  • How will CCEA AS Levels be graded? Will my grade contribute towards my final A Level result?

    You will be awarded a grade based on a range of evidence. No AS exams will be scheduled until Summer 2021. CCEA are still working towards the model on which AS grades will be awarded and in which centre assessed grades and centre rank orders will be used.

    Unfortunately, the nature of the AS Grade that you will be awarded in 2020 will not allow it to contribute to your A Level results in 2021.

  • If I am an AS student what are my options for A Level?

    You will have two options for A Level in Summer 2021, either:

    1. You can choose to only sit the required A2 (A Level) units, which means that your AS outcomes will be calculated using statistical predictions based on your performance in the A2 units; or
    2. You can choose to sit AS exams alongside the A2 exams.
  • What are centre assessed grades and rank ordering?

    For every GCSE, AS and A level subject, CCEA will require each school, college or other exam centre to submit the following information:

    1. a centre assessment grade for each student – this is derived from evidence held within the centre (school or college) and which has been reviewed by subject teachers and relevant heads of department; and
    2. the rank order of students within each grade – for example, for all those students with a grade C in GCSE Mathematics, or a grade B in A level Biology, a rank order where 1 is the most secure/highest attaining student, and so on.
  • How will CCEA A Levels be graded?

    CCEA A Levels will be determined using a calculated grade which takes into consideration predictions based on your previous performance and centre assessed grades and centre rank orders.

  • Can I appeal my grade if I am not happy with it?

    At the moment normal arrangements for reviews of marking and appeals will not apply. The exam boards are considering what arrangements can be put in place to allow an effective appeal. We will provide further guidance when more information becomes available.

  • Will I be able to sit an exam if I am not happy with my awarded grade?

    Yes. If you feel that your grades from this summer do not reflect your performance, you will be able to sit exams at the next available opportunity.

  • Will new work have to be submitted before a final grade can be determined?

    There is no requirement for students to complete additional mock exams or homework tasks for determining a centre assessment grade, and no student should be disadvantaged if they are unable to complete any work set after schools/colleges and other exam centres were closed.

  • How will exam boards make their decision about my final grade?

    Your school or college will be asked to send the exam board two pieces of information for each of your subjects:

    1. The grade they believe you were most likely to get if teaching, learning and exams had happened as planned
    2. Within each subject, the rank order of students at your school or college, by performance, for each grade.

    Your school or college will also consider a range of things like your classwork and homework; your results in assignments and any mock exams; any non-examination assessment or coursework you might have done; and your general progress during your course.

  • How will the exam board use the information provided by Schools and Colleges?

    Exam boards will use the information provided to standardise grades across schools and colleges, to make sure that, as far as possible, results are fair and that students are not advantaged or disadvantaged. That means the final grade you get could be different from the one your school or college sends to the exam board.

  • Will I be able to progress to the next stage of education or employment with these grades?

    Yes, you will be able to move onto the next stage of your education or employment as planned, provided you meet the entry requirements/criteria.

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REE - Confidentiality

aaa REE GREEN 540x540REE - Confidentiality Policy

REE values your right to privacy and to be supported in accessing online information that is useful to you as well as your right to be safe and protected from harm at all times. You should be aware that REE is not an emergency response service.  When you message REE anonymously your conversation is always private and confidential and CLC staff do not routinely check your conversations with REE.  Therefore in circumstances where you might tell REE that you or another young person are being harmed or are at risk of being harmed or self-harming, CLC will be unable to pass any information on to social services and/or the police.  But REE can give you useful numbers to call if you need help right away. If you or another young person are being harmed or believe that you are at risk of being harmed you should contact the PSNI or Social Services immediately.

Click here for more information on CLC’s Child Safeguarding Policy.


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Contact Info

Children's Law Centre
‘Rights House’
127-131 Ormeau Road,

Tel: 028 90245704
Fax: 028 90245679

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