To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 17 September 2020 to Question 89694, what steps she is taking to ensure that people who received support through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will be able to have their eligibility for universal credit assessed promptly at the end of that scheme; and what assessment she has made of the effect of including those people's final CJRS payments in their eligibility assessment for universal credit on those people's financial security over Christmas 2020.
12 October 2020
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is a HMRC-led initiative providing a grant to help employers pay the wages of their employee. When the scheme ends, any employee who sees their income reduced may be eligible to apply for Universal Credit. The Department ensures all claimants are supported in both making and maintaining a claim. For those claimants who are particularly affected by any loss of income and need urgent support, new claims advances are available during the first assessment period to provide upfront support – meaning the claimant will receive their first year’s entitlement over 13 payments instead of 12. Where a payment from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is used to fund earnings, the earnings of the employee will be taken into account in the calculation of entitlement to Universal Credit in the usual way. The intention being that payments to employees should mirror the way equivalent income is treated in Universal Credit.