Coronavirus - Universal Credit and Working Tax Credits

Last updated, 30 March 2020 at 8:55pm

Universal Credit and Working Tax Credits

  • Universal Credit standard allowance increases by £1,000 a year for 12 months.

  • Increasing Working Tax Credit basic element by £1,000 for next 12 months.

  • The self-employed will get full Universal Credit at a rate equivalent to statutory sick pay.

  • Government to offer financial support to self-employed individuals and employees earning below the National Insurance Lower Earnings Limit through a ‘new style’ Employment and Support Allowance and Universal Credit.Available to those affected by coronavirus or self isolating in accordance with government advice.  Applies from the first day of sickness rather than the eighth.Universal Credit and advanced payments will be available without the current requirement to attend a job centre.The minimum income floor for Universal Credit will be temporarily relaxed for the duration of the outbreak.  Self employed individuals will be able to claim compensation for losses in income.

Statutory Sick Pay 

  • Temporary new legislation allowing Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) to be paid from the first day of sickness rather than the fourth day for individuals who have coronavirus or who self-isolate in accordance with government guidelines.
    Employers will need to maintain records of employee absence and SSP.

  • Temporary extension of SSP to cover individuals who are unable to work because they have been advised to self-isolate and those caring for others within the same household who display coronavirus symptoms and have been advised to self-isolate.
    Employers will need to maintain records of employee absence and SSP.

  • Employers with fewer than 250 employees as at 28 February 2020 will be eligible for a refund of SSP costs relating to coronavirus (restricted to two weeks per employee).
    The size of an employer will be determined by the number of people they employed as of 28 February 2020.
    Employees are not required to provide a GP fit note.
    Employers will need to maintain records of employee absence and SSP.
    The Government have announced that they will work with employers over the coming months to set up repayment mechanisms.
    A rebate scheme is being developed. Further details will be provided in due course once the legalisation has passed.

  • To relieve pressure on GPs, self-isolating employees will be able to obtain a notification via NHS111 which can be used as evidence for absence from work.

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