Employment: Coronavirus

Treasury written question – answered on 20th July 2020.

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Photo of Shabana Mahmood Shabana Mahmood Labour, Birmingham, Ladywood

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what support he plans to make available to people who are (a) shielding and (b) living in multigenerational households in the event that they are unable to safely return to work once the shielding programme is paused, notwithstanding statutory sick pay.

Photo of Liz Saville-Roberts Liz Saville-Roberts Shadow PC Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Women and Equalities) , Plaid Cymru Westminster Leader, Shadow PC Spokesperson (Justice), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to maintain the current level of employment support for people who are shielding and whose workplaces cannot be made covid-safe when the shielding scheme comes to an end on 1 August 2020.

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 another role if required. Where this is not possible, the CEV 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 the introduction of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, and an increase in the generosity of welfare payments worth a further £8bn.

Current guidance for those who live with the shielded, including those in multi-generational households, is that they do not need to shield themselves but must carefully follow guidance on social distancing.

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