DWP: Coronavirus Touchbase special – 31 July 2020

Roundup of recent DWP announcements

Shielding and Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) update

Individuals who are clinically extremely vulnerable will no longer be required to shield from 1 August. This means those who are unable to work from home but can work on site should do so, providing the workplace is COVID-safe.

Employers are encouraged to help their employees to transition back to work safely and support them to follow strict social distancing in the workplace.

Individuals will no longer be eligible for SSP on the basis of being clinically extremely vulnerable.

If shielding guidance is reintroduced, either in the case of local lockdowns or nationally, and individuals receive a notification advising them to shield, they will be eligible to receive SSP again if they meet all eligibility criteria.

Pensioners urged to check if they’re eligible for Pension Credit

New rules will be introduced limiting free TV licences to over-75s receiving Pension Credit on 1 August 2020.

The Pension Credit toolkit is an online tool for agencies and welfare rights organisations to use to help older people understand how they could get Pension Credit.

For more information on Pension Credit, to use the free online calculator, to check eligibility or to claim, visit GOV.UK.

Face covering exemptions

On 24 July face coverings became mandatory in shops, supermarkets, shopping centres and enclosed transport hubs in England. However, this is not mandatory for those with disabilities or certain health conditions that make it difficult for them to wear a face covering.

Exemption cards and badges are available for mobile phones or to print for people who may feel more comfortable showing something that says they do not have to wear a face covering.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) updates

There will be changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) from 1 August 2020. The scheme will no longer fund employers’ National Insurance (NI) and pensions contributions. Employers will have to make these payments from their own resources for all employees, whether furloughed or not. Further information can be found on GOV.UK.

HMRC has also published guidance for anyone who has claimed too much or not enough from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.