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11 March, 2020 Open access

Chancellor announces ‘temporary, timely and targeted’ welfare reforms to support individuals affected by the coronavirus outbreak

Package of measures in Budget 2020 include removal of waiting days, changes relating to the minimum income floor, relaxation of the requirement to attend a jobcentre, and further extension of SSP entitlement

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a package of ‘temporary, timely and targeted’ welfare reforms to support individuals affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Outlining the government’s plan to manage the economic impact of the outbreak in today's Budget Speech 2020, and to provide support for affected individuals and businesses, Mr Sunak said -

‘…the right immediate policy response is to provide security and support for those who get sick or can’t work through funding our public services, and a strengthened safety net.

And on the supply side, the right response is to provide a bridge for businesses, to ensure that what is a temporary impact on our productive capacity does not become permanent.

In other words, our response will be temporary, timely and targeted.’

In addition to measures already announced to support individuals - including to allow statutory sick pay (SSP) to be paid from the first day to people who have coronavirus or have to self-isolate, and government advice to employers to use discretion not to require a GP fit note for coronavirus-related absences - Mr Sunak announced new policy changes including -

In addition to the measures to address the coronavirus outbreak, other welfare-related policy announcements in Budget 2020 include -

For more information see Budget 2020 from gov.uk