Essential staff who were unable to work after following Public Health advice to self-isolate during lockdown could receive financial compensation for “doing the right thing”.
Employment & Social Security has amended legislation that covers who is entitled to receive sickness benefit. It means that essential workers who followed Public Health advice to self-isolate during the first few weeks of lockdown – and could not work from home – can apply for a retrospective payment.
The amendment states that a person “can be deemed to be incapable of work" if asked to self-isolate, meaning essential workers can claim sickness benefit, or an equivalent amount.
Pictured: The amendment applies to essential workers who were asked not to go into work if they attended a specific place or public gathering, such as the Festival of Dance, that positive cases were later linked to.
Committee President Deputy Peter Roffey said: “We’re constantly having to adapt to the multifarious difficulties that this pandemic is creating, to ensure that there are no significant gaps in the support that the government provides.
“This amendment by the Committee, although technical in nature, is essential to ensure that individuals are not penalised for doing the right thing, which in this instance was observing the advice of Public Health. We will continue to monitor this ever-changing situation to ensure that individuals are given the support they need at this time.”
Some essential workers may have been told previously that they were not entitled to sickness benefit. That was the correct advice at the time, said the Committee. However, following the latest decision, they are now encouraged to contact the Sickness Benefit team.
This change applies only to people who voluntarily followed the advice of Public Health to self-isolate, following specific public events that they attended before lockdown. People who were subject to a ‘Compulsory Self-Isolation Order’ would have already qualified for sickness benefit if they were unable to work from home.
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