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The Government has announced a new payment scheme to support people living in areas with high rates of Covid-19 who are on low incomes and who need to self-isolate, if they can’t work from home.  It is hoped this measure will help to contain the spread of the virus and keep on top of local outbreaks by supporting those who are unable to work from home while self-isolating.

Under the new payment scheme, which will be trialled in Blackburn with Darwen, Pendle and Oldham from Tuesday 1 September, payments of up to £182 will be available from the Government for those who have tested positive for Covid-19 and their contacts.

During the trial period, eligible individuals who test positive with Covid-19 will receive £130 for their 10-day period of self-isolation (from the point they first developed symptoms). Other members of their household, who have to self-isolate for 14 days, will be entitled to a payment of £182 (from the point the member of their household first developed symptoms).

If an individual is identified via NHS Test and Trace as having been a non-household contact of someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 and is asked to self-isolate until 14 days after they were most recently in contact with the person who tested positive, they will be entitled to £13 per day (up to a maximum of £182, tailored to the individual length of their isolation period).  

Individuals will need to meet the following criteria in order to be eligible for the funding:

  • Have tested positive for Covid-19 or been notified by NHS Test and Trace that they need to self-isolate.
  • Have agreed to comply with the notification from NHS Test and Trace and provided contact details to the local authority.
  • Be employed or self-employed. Employed people will have to show proof of employment. Self-employed people will have to show evidence of trading income and that their business delivers services which the local authority reasonably judges they cannot carry out without social contact.
  • Be unable to work from home (checks will be undertaken on all applicants) and will lose income a result.
  • Be currently receiving Universal Credit or Working Tax Credit.

To claim under the scheme, eligible individuals will need to provide the notification they have received from NHS Test and Trace and a bank statement.  They will then receive payments within 48 hours of providing this evidence.  If the individual is unable to provide this information, the relevant local authority will also be able to check the NHS Test and Trace system to confirm that the individual has been asked to self-isolate.  The local authority will put in place checks to prevent fraud and ensure compliance through welfare check-ins, phone calls and employment checks.  

The Government plans to review the success of the trial in Blackburn with Darwen, Pendle and Oldham to assess how effectively vulnerable people have been reached.  The review will also consider the extent to which the scheme has helped reduce spread of the virus in these areas. If the trial is successful, the scheme will be rolled out to other areas which are experiencing high rates of Covid-19.

How we can help

The Coronavirus FAQs on our website are updated regularly and provide detailed guidance on furlough, self-isolation, sick pay and other issues relating to Covid-19.

In addition, our Employment Law Update webinar for members will take place on the morning of Tuesday 15 September 2020, at which our legal and policy experts will explore key employment law decisions from the last six months and how these might impact on your practices.  The webinar will also look at important forthcoming legislative and Government policy developments that are relevant to HR.  Book your place here.

If you would like further support on managing employee self-isolation or other issues arising from furlough, quarantine or Covid-19, our experienced HR and legal consultancy experts are here for you.  If you are a Make UK member, please contact your adviser with any queries you wish to discuss. Alternatively, non-members are welcome to call us on 0808 168 5874, or email [email protected].

News / Coronavirus / HR & Legal