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Schools: Coronavirus

Question for Treasury

UIN HL3250, tabled on 21 April 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to providing ‘top up’ income support for employees who are unable to work their full hours due to childcare commitments arising from school and nursery closures.

Answered on

5 May 2020

The Government recognises it is a challenge for parents to balance paid work and childcare while schools and nurseries are closed. Schools remain open for children of key workers and the most vulnerable children, and the Government has put in place a national voucher scheme to provide free school meals for children while at home.

Families who see a fall in earnings may become eligible for support through the welfare system, including through Universal Credit (UC). Existing UC claimants are likely to receive a higher award as a result of a fall in earnings. For employed claimants this will be updated automatically using information from the PAYE system. In response to the crisis, the Government has strengthened the welfare system, including by increasing the UC standard allowance and the Working Tax Credit basic element by £20 per week. In addition, to protect people’s jobs and incomes as far as possible during the crisis, the Government has announced a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and a Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

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