From Thursday 5 November, new national restrictions apply in England.
Information on the new national restrictions has now been published on gov.uk and is available at the links below. More guidance will be published in the coming days.
The latest information about support for employees is available here: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/worker-support
For more information on the businesses which must close from November 5, please click here: https://www.cravendc.gov.uk/coronavirus-advice-and-information/coronavirus-businesses-and-premises-closure-guidance/
The most up to date information on Government guidance for employees can be found on the Government website here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-guidance-for-employees
This includes information for furloughed workers.
On 20 September the Prime Minister's Office announced a new package to support and enforce self-isolation, including financial support for those on lower incomes who cannot work from home and have lost income as a result. Further information is available at: https://bit.ly/3ckZ3wR
Isolation Support Payment
The Government has announced a new Isolation Support Payment. Details of this scheme are still being issued so please keep an eye on this page to ensure you have the latest information.
The scheme is intended to help residents who might feel unable to self-isolate due to financial concerns. The payment will enable people on lower incomes to self-isolate when they test positive or are identified as a contact. It is hoped that more people will get tested, which in turn will help reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and avoid further social and economic restrictions, including local lockdowns.
Individuals who are required to self-isolate and who meet the eligibility criteria listed below will be entitled to £500. This will be payable as a lump sum.
To be eligible for the Isolation Support Payment, an individual must be able to provide evidence that they:
- have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace either because they’ve tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive – this will include a Unique ID number
- are employed or self-employed
- are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
- are currently receiving one or more of the following:
- universal credit
- working tax credit
- income based employment and support allowance
- income based jobseeker’s allowance
- income support
- housing benefit
- pension credit
You must provide a recent bank statement and the payment will only be paid into the account of the person who is self-isolating. We may contact your employer for confirmation. These payments will be subject to income tax, but not National Insurance contributions.
Important: Applicants whose income is lower than normal because they are furloughed will not be eligible for a test and trace support payment.
Payments will only be made to people who have been asked to self-isolate on or after 28 September 2020. We expect to have our online application form in place soon and individuals who are eligible will be able to make a backdated claim. The scheme is scheduled to run until 31 January 2021.
If you receive a Self-Isolation Payment you MUST self-isolate as requested by NHS Test and Trace.
Our online application form will be available no later than 12 October 2020 – so please keep checking our website for updates. Payments can only be considered upon receipt of the completed application form, when it is available. If you are unable to complete an online form please telephone Customer Services and someone will complete the form for you.
A local discretionary scheme is also being developed; we anticipate that this will be aimed at helping those who have been asked to isolate but who may not meet fully meet all of the national benefit criteria required to qualify for an Isolation Support Payment. Further details will follow as the scheme is developed so please visit our website regularly as we may only be able to accept claims from people during the period of their self-isolation.
Please visit the NHS website for more details of the NHS Test and Trace self-isolation requirements for those:
- testing positive and
- those who have been in contact with someone who has tested positive and has now been told to self- isolate by NHS Test and Trace.
If your employer cannot cover staff costs due to COVID-19, they may be able to access support to continue paying part of your wage, to avoid redundancies.
If your employer intends to access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, they will discuss with you becoming classified as a furloughed worker. This would mean that you are kept on your employer’s payroll, rather than being laid off.
To qualify for this scheme, you should not undertake work for them while you are furloughed. This will allow your employer to claim a grant of up to 80% of your wage for all employment costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.
You will remain employed while furloughed. Your employer could choose to fund the differences between this payment and your salary, but does not have to.
If your salary is reduced as a result of these changes, you may be eligible for support through the welfare system, including Universal Credit.