Important information about COVID-19 please click here to find out more.

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Workers who have been laid off from work

  • Contact your employer in the first instance to check that you are covered by the Government’s Job Retention Scheme – this will cover up to 80% of wages, up to £2,500 a month and be backdated until 1st March. It is initially open for 3 months.
  • If you are not covered by the Job Retention Scheme you will need to make an immediate claim for Universal Credit. Universal Credit cannot be backdated for most people so please make sure you do this as soon as you can.  Make your online Universal Credit claim at   Do not contact the Job Centre as you will be simply signposted to make an online claim


Workers who need to self isolate

People unable to work for more than seven days because of coronavirus can obtain an online isolation note.  The isolation note service can be accessed via the 111 online coronavirus service or NHS.UK/coronavirus as well as via the NHS app.

  • Isolation notes will provide you with evidence for your employer that you  have been advised to self-isolate due to coronavirus, either because you have symptoms or you live with someone who has symptoms, and so cannot work.
  • Regulations that took effect on 13th March state that anyone who  is isolating themselves from others in accordance with advice from Public Health England, nhs Scotland or Public Health Wales on Coronavirus disease is deemed to be incapable of work for the purposes of claiming statutory sick pay. 
  • Statutory Sick Pay will now be payable from the first day of sickness
  • You may also need to make a new claim for Universal Credit to supplement Statutory Sick Pay and to help with your rent.


 Workers who have had their hours cut

  • If you are already claiming Universal Credit your monthly payment will be automatically adjusted to reflect that you have less earned income.
  • If you know that you will struggle it is important make a new claim for Universal Credit at as soon as possible. Do not delay.
  • If you are currently in receipt of a means tested benefit (HB/WTC etc.) and your wages drop due to being absent from work you may be better off if you claim Universal Credit if eligible.  Please ask to speak to one of our Welfare Benefit Officers who will be able to carry out a ‘better off’ calculation.


 Self employed workers

  • Self employed workers who cannot work will need to make an immediate online claim for Universal Credit at
  • Universal Credit standard allowance has been increased to ensure that it is payable at the same rate as Statutory Sick Pay. Additional elements will be payable for families and housing costs.
  • The minimum income floor will not apply