To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate the Government has made of the number of people with (a) blood cancer and (b) other long-term illnesses who are (i) shielding during the covid-19 outbreak and cannot work from home and (ii) have been advised to continue shielding after August 2020; and what assessment he has made of the potential merits of providing additional support to those people through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
20 July 2020
The Government recognises that COVID-19 has posed significant challenges for those suffering with cancer.
The Government has put in place unprecedented levels of income support to help people deal with the financial consequences of COVID-19. This does not just include the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, but also the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, changes to Statutory Sick Pay, and the £9.3bn which the OBR estimates that the Government has injected into the welfare system.
The Chancellor announced on 12 May that the CJRS scheme will be extended until October. Before 30 June, any employee could be furloughed, including those suffering from cancer. From 1 July, an employee can only continue to be furloughed if they have previously been furloughed for at least 3 consecutive weeks taking place any time between 1 March 2020 and 30 June.
For those required to shield after 1 August, they will receive a letter or notification advising them of this, and they will continue to be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay on the basis of their shielding status.