Update from the Aga Khan Economic Planning Board

Efforts to suppress the outbreak of COVID-19 have caused significant disruption for families, employees and business owners. The AKEPB is aware that the rapid transition to limit social contact may be causing many of us to feel anxious and uncertain about the future. The AKEPB will endeavour to support you as best as we can in these challenging times. The AKEPB will summarise the latest guidance from the government and will regularly update the Jamat via the IIUK app, Al-Saha Daily Digest and the.ismaili/uk website.

Aga Khan Economic Planning Board for the United Kingdom
AKEPB Summary Guidance
(Last Updated: 8 April 2020)

The UK government has pledged to do “whatever it takes” to support households and businesses through these tough times. Measures are continually being unveiled to shore up cashflow and try to restore confidence. Jamati members are encouraged to review the latest government advice, which can be found here. AKEPB’s summary of announced support measures can be found here.

The AKEPB also offers an advisory service for individuals seeking guidance on their personal finances, employment situation and businesses. Members of the Jamat wishing to avail of this service should contact the Coronavirus Support Team on 020 8191 0911 or email [email protected].

Whilst many are saying that this may only be a temporary disruption, the Jamat should be aware that the economy may be impacted for an unknown period. In light of this uncertainty, the Jamat needs to be vigilant in monitoring its spending. AKEPB recommends the following actions for businesses, households, employees and those seeking employment.


• Ensure health and safety of all staff
• All non-essential costs should be mitigated in your business during this time
• Call HMRC and ask if you can defer all government related payments
• Call all suppliers and see if they will accept more flexible payment terms
• Call your bank today to discuss your circumstances and see if they will be more accommodating on loans
• Insurance payments should be kept up at all times
• Regularly check the government website for details of new assistance: https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/

AKEPB has produced a guide with practical steps for SMEs that can be accessed here.


• Ensure that you manage all your expenses and only spend on essential items
• Create a budget and have a reserve fund that covers you in the short and medium term.
• If you are struggling to pay your mortgage, speak to your mortgage lender about a mortgage holiday. A mortgage holiday is where you defer your current mortgage payments but typically have to make up the payments at a later date. Ensure that you understand the terms of your mortgage holiday.
• If you are not able to make your rent payments, please make sure you speak to your landlord to discuss delayed payments -if you are not able to make utility payments, speak to your provider to see if you can set up a payment plan - please exercise caution when you take on any new debt, credit cards have high interest rates.
• Continue to pay into your life and critical premiums to keep the policy cover intact.
• Ensure important documents such as wills, power of attorney, and insurance and medical papers are up to date and accessible.

Please click here to access a guide on how to manage your personal finances at this time.

AKEPB gives daily savings tips in the Al-Saha Daily Digest; for a list of past savings tips, please click here.

AKEPB also produces a weekly podcast series called Wise Wallets, which rounds up a variety of topics to support the Jamat with their personal finances.

Travel Advice

Jamati members may have questions about travelling to and from the UK. Please click here for AKEPB’s guide that summarises the latest travel advice.

Fraud Awareness

In uncertain times it can be difficult to separate fact from fiction, and certain fraudsters are using this opportunity to take advantage of Jamati members. Scams are coming in different shapes and sizes, from impersonating officials to investment fraud and fake emails or text messages. More information is available here and here.

Advice for Employers and Employees

AKEPB has produced a summary guide of best practice for employers and employees, which the Jamat can review here.
We encourage you to review the government’s latest advice, which provides information on:
• Individuals’ entitlement to statutory sick pay (SSP)
• Eligibility if self-employed or not eligible for SSP
• Self-employment and receiving Universal Credit
• Financial support from your Local Authority

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) gives employees and employers free, impartial advice on workplace rights, rules and best practice. Advice for employers and employees can be found by clicking here.

Advice for Employees

You should let your employer know as soon as possible if you're not able to go to work. Your workplace's usual sick leave and pay entitlements apply if someone has COVID-19. To check whether you are entitled to sick pay, speak to your employer or visit Citizens Advice. Further guidance for employees is available here from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and Public Health England.

Employment Support

Not all businesses are struggling at the moment. On Jobspot, AKEPB brings to the attention of the Jamat current employment opportunities.

Please see AKEPB’s Skills Workshops - Online Learning Resources for a list of resources you can use to keep your learning and skills up to scratch.