Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Treasury written question – answered on 16th September 2020.

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Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Labour/Co-operative, Huddersfield

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to ensure that people with (a) blood cancer and (b) other conditions which adversely effect an individual’s immune system, do not face financial uncertainty as a result of the winding up of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

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

The Government recognises the challenges presented by COVID-19 for those with cancer or individuals with conditions which adversely affect their immune system. The unprecedented current level of support for people’s incomes is available for those who are living with cancer. This includes the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) and Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).

The Chancellor announced on 12 May that the CJRS scheme would be extended until 31 October 2020.

The Government has relaxed national advice to those who are clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV), bringing it in line with the advice to those who are clinically vulnerable. If they are unable to work from home, they are able to return to work, provided their workplace is COVID-safe. If employers cannot provide a safe working environment, the CEV will continue to have access to an unprecedented package of financial support including an increase in the generosity of welfare payments worth a further £9.3bn according to Office for Budget Responsibility estimates. These changes also include a £20 per week increase to the Universal Credit (UC) standard allowance and Working Tax Credit basic element, and a nearly £1 billion increase in support for renters through increases to the Local Housing Allowance rates for UC and Housing Benefit claimants.

Those who live or work in local lockdown areas who receive a notification that they need to shield will be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for as long as the advice for them to shield remains in place (subject to the normal eligibility conditions). Individuals will be able to use this notification as evidence for their employer that they cannot work, including for SSP purposes.

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