Employment: Government Assistance

Treasury written question – answered on 7th July 2020.

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Photo of Robert Halfon Robert Halfon Chair, Education Committee, Chair, Education Committee

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what financial support he plans to make available to people shielding and unable to work from home who were not furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme by 10 June 2020 cut-off date and who reside in an area under a local lockdown.

Photo of Robert Halfon Robert Halfon Chair, Education Committee, Chair, Education Committee

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the oral contribution of the Prime Minister of 10 June 2020, Official Report column 281, what steps he is taking to support people who are newly shielding after the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme cut-off date and unable to work from home.

Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

On 22 June, the Prime Minister announced that the Government will relax the current public health guidance for those identified as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) to shield at home. This means from 1 August they will be able to return to work if they are unable to work from home, provided their workplace is COVID-safe.

It is important that this group continue to take careful precautions, and employers should do all they can to enable them to work from home where this is possible, including moving them to other roles if required. Where this is not possible, those who have been shielding should be provided with the safest on-site roles that enable them to maintain social distancing from others.

If employers cannot provide a safe working environment, the CEV will continue to have access to an unprecedented package of financial support. This is not limited to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, but also includes changes to Statutory Sick Pay to make it payable from Day 1, the introduction of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, and an increase in the generosity of welfare payments worth a further £8bn.

This support is also available for those who live in areas affected by local lockdowns.

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