Probation: Coronavirus

Ministry of Justice written question – answered at on 18 May 2020.

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Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether additional resources have been provided to community rehabilitation companies to fund the special circumstance payments for probation staff working face to face with clients during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Lucy Frazer Lucy Frazer The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

The Special Payments scheme was introduced to support prison and probation services during the period of the Covid-19 pandemic, specifically where additional working hours are required to respond to the impact of Covid-19.

Whilst primarily aimed at National Probation Service (NPS) staff during the pandemic, we support a wider application of the Special Payments scheme to include staff from the Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs), to the extent it is deemed necessary to meet challenging operational needs. The terms of the scheme offered are on the same principles applied for NPS employees.

We have agreed with CRCs that we will meet additional costs associated with their application of the special payments scheme subject to the wider terms of the financial relief provisions that we have implemented in order to assist suppliers to combat the impact of Covid-19. In particular we will require confirmation and evidence to demonstrate that they have exhausted any financial head room available within the payments made to them under contract and during the period impacted by Covid-19 that could be used to cover this additional cost.

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