Measures in the Budget 2020 to support people affected by coronavirus include removal of waiting days, changes relating to the minimum income floor, relaxation of the requirement to attend a jobcentre, and further extension of SSP entitlement.
In addition to measures already announced - including to allow statutory sick pay (SSP) to be paid from the first day to people who have coronavirus or have to self-isolate – further new policy changes were announced including -
- temporary extension of SSP to cover individuals who are unable to work because they have been advised to self-isolate, and people caring for those within the same household who display coronavirus symptoms and have been told to self-isolate;
- bringing forward a temporary alternative to the fit note which can be used for the duration of the coronavirus outbreak - enabling people who are advised to self-isolate to obtain a notification by calling NHS 111 which they can use as evidence for absence from work where necessary;
- making new style employment and support allowance (ESA) payable from the first day of sickness, rather than the eighth day, for people directly affected by coronavirus or self-isolating according to government advice; removing the current requirement to attend a jobcentre in order to claim universal credit and access advance payments for those directly affected by coronavirus or self-isolating;
- introducing a temporary relaxation of the minimum income floor in universal credit for the duration of the outbreak, for those directly affected by coronavirus or self-isolating; and
- new grant funding of £500 million to local authorities in England to support economically vulnerable people and households - most of this funding is expected to be used to provide more council tax relief, either through existing local Council Tax Support schemes, or through complementary reliefs.
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