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Employment: Coronavirus

Question for Treasury

UIN HL12015, tabled on 11 January 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of workers who are not eligible for any COVID-19 financial support; and what steps they are taking to reduce that number.

Answered on

25 January 2021

Throughout the crisis, the Government’s priority has been to protect people’s jobs and livelihoods. Since the start of the pandemic the Government has committed over £280 billion to supporting the economy, including supporting 9.9 million jobs through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and about 2.7 million self-employed individuals via the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

The Government has continued to review its support and brought in ineligible groups where possible. For example, the extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) is available to those directors who paid themselves a salary between 19 March and 30 October 2020, and to new starters who were employed and on their employer’s PAYE payroll on 30 October 2020. Both the CJRS and SEISS have also been updated to provide support to those on maternity leave and to reservists. The Government continues to work closely with stakeholders to explore how it can best support different groups.

Those who are ineligible for the CJRS and SEISS may still be eligible for other elements of the COVID-19 support available. This substantial package of support includes Bounce Back loans, tax deferrals, rental support and other business support grants. The Government has also temporarily increased the Universal Credit standard allowance for 2020-21 by £20 per week and relaxed the Minimum Income Floor, meaning that where claimants' earnings have significantly fallen, their Universal Credit award will have increased to reflect their lower earnings.

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