The Welsh government has announced that social care staff will have their statutory sick pay (SSP) topped up if they are required to take time off because they have coronavirus or are self-isolating.
The Statutory Sick Pay Enhancement scheme will support social care staff working in care homes, domiciliary care and as personal assistants, and will run from now until March 31, 2021.
It will top up statutory sick pay to eligible care workers’ full pay if they need to take time off with suspected or confirmed coronavirus or if they are self-isolating because someone in their household has coronavirus or they have been told to by the NHS Wales Test Trace Protect service.
The scheme was launched in conjunction with a £500 support payment for people on lower incomes who could face loss of earnings if they are required to self-isolate.
Care workers will be able to receive this payment if they are in receipt of Universal Credit or another specified benefit.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “Asking people to self-isolate is an important way to break the transmission of the virus but for many people it can mean the loss of income.
“We all have a responsibility to protect our own health and our loved ones’ too but we know just how difficult that can be when faced with a choice between staying at home and not being able being able to feed your family or going to work.
“These new support schemes are targeted towards people on low incomes and are designed to relieve some of the financial pressures people face if they are asked to self-isolate.”
People will be able to apply for both payments via their local authority website and they will be backdated to October 23.
Care workers will be eligible for the SSP Enhancement scheme if they only receive SSP when off sick or if they are not eligible for SSP.
They will not be eligible if they already receive full pay for time off for sickness absence.
The enhancement is not available if the care worker is taking time off due to care responsibilities, isolation following travel or due to the worker being at high risk.
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