February 2021 – Self Isolation Payments


The demand for self-isolation payments is significantly outstripping the funding available to local councils in England, according to the TUC.

Introduced in September 2020, the self-isolation payment scheme offers a one-off £500 payment for those who need to self-isolate because of Covid-19 but cannot work from home, with local authorities able to use discretionary grants to support those who do not meet the strict government-set criteria for the main scheme.

However, based on survey responses from 175 English local authorities, the TUC reports that, overall, 70 per cent of applications to the scheme end up without payment.

Some councils have had to close their discretionary schemes due to a lack of funding, and more than 1 in 4 councils have run out of or are close to running out of funding. The TUC argues that the government could fix the problem by offering decent sick pay to those required to self-isolate.

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