CoronavirusEmployee Relations

‘Too many’ Yorkshire and Humber self-isolators rejected aid, TUC warns

BritainThinks conducted an online survey on behalf of the union of 2,231 in England and Wales between 19-29 November 2020. All respondents were either in work, on furlough, or recently made redundant

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has warned that too many workers are going without the financial support they need to self-isolate in Yorkshire and Humber.

The news follows the recently released findings which showed more than six in 10 applications to the self-isolation scheme in the region were rejected.

BritainThinks conducted an online survey on behalf of the union of 2,231 in England and Wales between 19-29 November 2020. All respondents were either in work, on furlough, or recently made redundant.

The self-isolation payment scheme was introduced by the government on 28 September 2020, six months into the pandemic, and offers a one-off £500 payment for those who need to self-isolate because of coronavirus but are unable to work from home.

Local authorities used “discretionary grants” to support applicants who do not meet the strict government-set criteria for the main self-isolation scheme.

According to the Resolution Foundation, seven in eight workers “aren’t eligible for the main scheme”, so instead, have to rely on discretionary payments.

The union body stated four in 10 (42%) applications to the main self-isolation scheme get the grant.

Bill Adams, Yorkshire and Humber regional secretary, TUC, said: “Too many low-paid workers here in Yorkshire and Humber are going without the financial support they need to self-isolate. Councils that are spending hand over fist to help keep families afloat need to be fully funded by the government.

“Conservative MPs in our region need to wake up to the crisis in their communities and push the government to act. The government could fix the problem tomorrow by offering decent sick pay to those required to self-isolate.”

He added: “Ministers must stop turning a blind eye and raise statutory sick pay to at least the real Living Wage. And they must ensure that everyone has access to it.”

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