Sick pay and benefits

More generous support for those who are without employment, in self-employment or renting:

  1. Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit are being increased by £1,000 for the next 12 months – a cash injection of nearly £7 billion in the welfare system. Together these measures will benefit over 4 million of our most vulnerable households.

  2. Providing nearly £1 billion of support for renters, by increasing the generosity of housing benefit, so that the Local Housing Allowance will cover at least 30 per cent of market rents in local areas.

  3. Suspending the minimum income floor for twelve months – meaning self-employed people can now access Universal Credit at a rate that is equivalent to Statutory Sick Pay for employees. For the self-employed, we are also deferring income tax self-assessment payments for July until the end of January 2021. We will announce further measures to support self-employed people over the coming days.

  4. Suspending face-to-face assessments for all sickness and disability benefits for the next 3 months . This temporary move (effective from 17 March) is being taken as a precautionary measure to protect vulnerable people from unnecessary risk of exposure to coronavirus. We will ensure those who are entitled to a benefit continue to receive support, and that new claimants are able to access the safety net.

Sick pay:

Will my employer be obliged to pay me while I stay at home?

Statutory Sick Pay will be paid from day 1 instead of day 4 for those affected by coronavirus.

What about if I have a zero hours contract?

You may be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay. Check with your employer if you’re unsure.

If you’re not entitled to Statutory Sick Pay, you may be able to apply for Universal Credit  or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) .

What about if I’m self-employed?

You can apply for Universal Credit .

What if the whole family has to stay at home and there’s no income coming in?

If no one is getting Statutory Sick Pay, the family can apply for Universal Credit .

Last updated 24th March 2020.