Search rightsnet
Search options

Where

Benefit

Jurisdiction

Jurisdiction

From

to

10 March, 2020 Open access

Claimants who are self-isolating because of coronavirus will not be sanctioned ‘as long as they let their work coach know before the appointment’

DWP also confirms that those working in the gig economy or self-employed who are affected can apply for universal credit or new-style ESA

Claimants who are self-isolating as a result of the coronavirus will not be sanctioned 'as long as they let their work coach know before the appointment', the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Dr Thérèse Coffey has confirmed.

In an oral statement to parliament yesterday, Dr Coffey announced - 

'If claimants cannot attend their jobcentre appointment in person because of self-isolation, work coaches can exercise discretion, so claimants should engage with them and they will not be sanctioned - as long they let us know before the appointment.

And as my Rt Hon Friend the Prime Minister set out last week ‘nobody should be penalised for doing the right thing’.

That’s why the government’s safety net also extends to those who are self-employed or who work in the gig-economy. They can apply for universal credit or new-style employment and support allowance (ESA). Advances are available for universal credit immediately.'

NB - in a (corrected) written answer on Friday 6 March, Parliamentary Under-secretary Mims Davies advised - 

'Claimants who are self-isolating as a result of Covid-19 will have their mandatory work search and work availability requirements switched off during that period.

Any work-related requirements outside of this will be tailored to take into consideration the claimant’s capability and circumstances, can be conducted over the phone or through digital formats and ensure they are realistic and achievable.'

Dr Coffey's statement is available from Hansard.

Stop press (11 March 2020):  the Department for Communities in Northern Ireland also confirmed that benefit payments in Northern Ireland will still be paid for people self-isolating.