NHS Coronavirus helpline

This is the official NHS website that contains all necessary health related information and advice on Coronavirus.

Get help with your shopping – contact Plymouth Labour Community Action

If you or someone in your household is vulnerable or self-isolating and you need support, Luke’s team are more than happy to provide support, such as collecting shopping, prescriptions, posting mail or just calling you for a chat. You can also email plymouthlabourcommunity@gmail.com or call 07786 683074.

Find the Latest from Plymouth City Council

Use this link to find out the latest information on what action Plymouth City Council is taking in response to Coronavirus.

Statutory Sick Pay

The government has restated that Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) will be available from day 1 if you are asked to self-isolate. Previously sick pay was not available until day 4 of an illness. Luke has welcomed this and it will come as some re-assurance to employees earning more than £118 per week. You can get £95.85 per week Statutory Sick Pay, paid by your employer for up to 28 weeks. You may get more than this if your company has a sick pay scheme (or ‘occupational scheme’) and you should check your employment contract. Sick notifications will be obtainable by calling 111, which you can use as evidence for absence from work.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

For employees not currently working but retained by their employer, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme means employers will be able to apply for a grant from HMRC to cover 80% of wages up to a limit of £2500 per month (payments backdated to 01/03/20) and will be available for three months initially.


Self-employed individuals can claim a grant worth 80% of their usual income, up to a limit of £2,500 per month for 3 months. The government has designed this system to have parity with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. To apply, you must have submitted your Income Tax Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018/19. To be eligible, your self-employed trading profits must also be less than £50,000 and more than half of your income must come from self-employment. You must also have traded in the tax year 2019/20 and intend to continue trading next year. HMRC will use an average of the last 3 years tax returns to calculate your total allowance. If you only have 1 year of trading history or less, Ministers have indicated that you should still submit whatever documents you have for your claim.

There are concerns about claims for people who have less than 1 year of trading history, employed people who have recently changed jobs, and others working in key industries who don’t have access to a reasonable level of Statutory Sick Pay. The Labour Party and Luke have raised these issues in the hope that the government will address them.

Universal Credit

Others will be able to claim Universal Credit (UC). This will be available for people affected by COVID-19 immediately, rather than after one week. Requirements to attend a job centre to claim UC will be relaxed and advance payments made available for people directly affected by COVID-19, or are self-isolating. Additionally, the minimum income floor for UC will be temporarily relaxed for those directly affected by COVID-19 or self-isolating according to government advice for the duration of the outbreak.

The Department of Work and Pensions have said that new claimants of Universal Credit are no longer required to call the Department as part of the process. Once you’ve completed your online application if they need any additional information someone from the Department will call you. Please be aware that the calls could come from an 0800 or withheld number.

ACAS Advice

See ACAS for up-to-date information on support for the sick, self-employed and furloughed workers.

Stay Safe to Save Lives.
Stay Safe to Save Lives.
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