Staff in England searching for monetary assist after following recommendation to self-isolate on account of Covid are being refused grants, it has been reported.
Councils are rejecting greater than six in 10 functions to the check and hint help scheme, in response to figures obtained by the Trades Union Congress (TUC).
Below the scheme, run by the Division of Well being and Social Care (DHSC), employees can get a £500 cost if they’ve needed to quarantine as a result of virus.
Official steerage says folks on “low incomes” can apply to the scheme if they’re employed or self-employed, can’t make money working from home and can lose incomes because of this.
To qualify for the grant, candidates will need to have been advised to self-isolate by NHS Take a look at and Hint, the NHS Covid-19 app, of in the event that they’re the dad or mum or guardian of a kid who has been advised to self-isolate.
Greater than two-thirds of functions to the scheme are being rejected, in response to the TUC figures, which had been obtained underneath freedom of knowledge legal guidelines and first reported by The Guardian.
Hackney Council, in east London, stated it needed to reject 91 per cent of requests on account of what it described as “extraordinarily tight” authorities standards.
The council stated it rejected some functions as a result of the right paperwork was not produced, though it appreciates that it may be troublesome for households who’re self-isolating to take action.
Gatehead Council, in northeast England, stated it had rejected 97 per cent of functions as a result of claimants didn’t meet the standards.
General, 1 / 4 of the 94 councils who responded to the TUC’s request for knowledge stated they’d run out of cash to make funds sooner or later in the course of the scheme.
The grant scheme is seen as essential in serving to to gradual the unfold of Covid, which is now surging once more in what specialists concern is the start of a 3rd wave.
TUC normal secretary Frances O’Grady stated the scheme is failing and accused the federal government of creating it harder for employees to self-isolate.
“Nobody ought to be pressured to decide on between doing the best factor and self-isolating, and being plunged into hardship,” Ms O’Grady stated in an announcement.
“However too many are nonetheless going with out the monetary help they should self-isolate. The self-isolation cost scheme is failing. And it has been crystal clear because the begin of the pandemic that the UK’s measly statutory sick pay isn’t sufficient to dwell on.”
A DHSC spokesperson stated: “Because it launched in September 2020, the federal government has made £176m obtainable to native authorities to run the scheme. In March this 12 months, we elevated funding and prolonged the eligibility to assist much more folks.
“The division is working with all 314 native authorities in England to make sure as many individuals as potential are conscious of the help obtainable to them following the preliminary announcement and can proceed to take heed to suggestions on the scheme.”
The disclosures come simply days after chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Treasury division was accused of “hiding” sick pay from individuals who had been off work on account of Covid.
In line with emails in the beginning of 2021 between civil servants, and seen by the Politico web site, the division instructed authorities officers to not publicise how furlough could possibly be used to entry funds in the course of the isolation interval – provisions that had been set out within the job retention scheme.