DWP: Coronavirus Touchbase special – 22 May 2020

Roundup of recent DWP announcements

NHS Test and Trace service

The NHS Test and Trace service has been launched across England. The service will help identify, contain and control coronavirus, reduce the spread of the virus and save lives.

Anyone who tests positive for coronavirus will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and will need to share information about their recent interactions. This could include household members, people with whom they have been in direct contact, or within 2 metres for more than 15 minutes.

People identified as having been in close contact with someone who has a positive test must stay at home for 14 days, even if they do not have symptoms, to stop unknowingly spreading the virus.

Tell Us Once service awareness

The death of a friend or family member can be a difficult and stressful time. The Tell Us Once service helps you inform central and local government departments, as well as a range of public sector pension schemes, alleviating the need to contact different people across a range of organisations at a time when you are most vulnerable.

The Registrar can provide you with a unique reference number when you register the death or obtain an interim death certificate. You can then access the service via telephone or online.

Guide for pension savers

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has teamed up with regulators and other bodies to produce a guide for pension savers.

The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) is the public body set up to protect people who have a defined benefit pension scheme with an employer who becomes insolvent. The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), Money and Pensions Service (MaPS), the Pensions Regulator (TPR), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Pensions Ombudsman have also worked in partnership with PPF and DWP to create a guide outlining protections in place, and directing savers to free, impartial advice.

The move comes as both the PPF and FSCS report an increase in the number of enquiries they have received from concerned pension savers seeking guidance during COVID-19. The TPR, FCA and MaPS are all actively working to raise awareness of the risk of pension scams at this time.

You can find the guide and more information on the campaign on the Pension Protect Fund website.

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme is now live

If you’re an employer with fewer than 250 employees, you can now claim for Coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). You can also speak to your tax agent about making claims on your behalf.

For more information visit GOV.UK or sign-up to HMRC’s Statutory Sick Pay Scheme webinar.

Looking Out For Each Other campaign

Next week marks National Volunteering Week and we’re keen to encourage people to continue safely supporting those in isolation and recognise all the amazing voluntary efforts that have gone on through the coronavirus emergency.

Please help us by sharing the updated Looking Out For Each Other resources through your channels.

Many people continue to isolate and still need essential support.