The Scottish Government announced last week that the criterion of eligibility for the current £500 self-isolation support grant was due to be expanded, with a view to making the grant available to a wider section of the population who are facing financial hardship as a result of being asked to self-isolate.
From 16 February, the changes mean that an additional 200,000 people will now be eligible for the grant if they are asked to self-isolate. This is because the grant will now be available to those workers earning the Real Living Wage or less, and also those who are in receipt of a council tax reduction because of low income. Further, the grant has been changed so that it is more readily available to those with particular caring responsibilities.
Anyone looking to apply for the grant will now also have a longer period in which to do this, with the time limit for set to be extended to a period of 28 days from being told to self-isolate. Whilst the changes aren’t due to come into effect until 16 February, the Scottish Government have confirmed that eligibility will be back dated until 2 February. Individuals should apply for the grant through their local council.
Covid-19 Social Study
Alongside the announcement, a detailed "Covid-19 Social Study" was published, that contained (among other matters) figures in relation to the current compliance rates where people have been asked to self-isolate by the Public Health Scotland contact tracers.
The figures revealed that, whilst 80% of individuals isolated for the recommended number of days when they were informed that they had been in contact with someone who had developed symptoms of Covid-19, only 62% were isolating for the recommended number of days when they themselves had developed symptoms.
Get in touch - we're here to help
The Scottish Government website has more details on the grant and for information on how to apply. If you have any queries about how your business should deal with its responsibilities in relation to coronavirus, please get in contact with one of our team.