Contact Tracing

Treasury written question – answered on 30th June 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Lister of Burtersett Baroness Lister of Burtersett Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Agnew of Oulton on 22 June (HL5695), what financial support will be made available to people who do not have COVID-19 but are required to self-isolate under the COVID-19 contact test and trace system who are unable to work from home; and what consideration they have given to including such people as eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. [T]

Photo of Lord Agnew of Oulton Lord Agnew of Oulton Minister of State (HM Treasury), Minister of State (Cabinet Office)

The Government has committed to an unprecedented package to support individuals through this difficult time. This includes the introduction of the Coronavirus Job Retention and Self-Employment Income Support Schemes, as well as through injecting an additional £8bn into the welfare system.

For employees unable to work from home, DWP has laid new regulations to ensure that people asked to isolate by the Test and Trace service will be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). This is in addition to changes already made which make SSP payable from day one rather than day four of an absence from work. Employees will still be entitled to claim SSP from their employer even if they are asked to self-isolate several times. A SSP Rebate Scheme was also announced at Budget to support SMEs which may face a financial strain due to staff absences caused by COVID-19.

Self-employed people are eligible for “new style” Contributory Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) if they are incapable of work due to COVID-19, including all those who are required to self-isolate according to Government guidance. The Government has made it easier for people to claim by removing the seven-day waiting period, which means people can get support from day one.

The Government is committed to helping the lowest paid through the coronavirus outbreak, and the welfare system is best placed to provide this support.

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