Two-thirds of lowest-income workers denied financial support for self-isolating, research finds

The likelihood of receiving support is very much a postcode lottery, the CIPD says.

22 Jan 2021| News

Two-thirds (64%) of people claiming for financial support when self-isolating and thus being forced to miss paid work have had their requests turned down.

This is according to Freedom of Information requests made by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), which reported that the likelihood of getting help was a “postcode lottery”.

Only the lowest-paid workers – those who are forced to claim benefits alongside their jobs – are eligible for the £500 payments designed to support them through 10 days without a wage.

To claim this money, workers must apply to their local council, but some local authorities are being much more generous than others.

Sandwell Council approved just 16% of the claims it received, whereas workers in the Camden Council catchment area were successful 75% of the time.

“Lack of financial support threatens to significantly undermine the system at a time when the need for people to safely isolate at home is greater than ever before,” Ben Willmott, Head of Public Policy for the CIPD, said.

The organisation called for a review of the system, which should consider whether or not enough money has been allocated to councils and that the eligibility criteria for the grants is not “ruling out deserving applicants who are trying to do the right thing”.