Last month Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe and the leaders of several other Yorkshire Council’s called for more support for people on low pay or zero hours contracts.
They argued that some workers could not afford to self-isolate for two weeks if it meant missing out on much of their income.
The Government has now announced financial support for such workers, by providing one-off £500 payments to people on in-work benefits who are told to self-isolate.
Bradford Council Leader Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe said: “I’m pleased that Ministers have listened to the concerns of council leaders from all parties, and the Local Government Association, and that very soon they will provide a £500 one-off payment to people on in-work benefits who are told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, to be administered by councils.
This is something I first requested many months ago and therefore it is something of a relief that they have finally brought this payment in.
Many people on lower incomes across the Bradford District cannot work from home and will lose income if they have to self-isolate.
This payment will help them to maintain an income if they are told to self-isolate for at least 10 days, and to avoid a fine under the new government rules on self-isolation.
Clearly this is another significant administrative challenge for Bradford and other councils. Our staff and resources are already stretched to the limit by our responsibilities to respond to the pandemic, continue to provide vital services and protect the most vulnerable people in our communities.
We await full details and need clarity on how the self-isolation support scheme will work and hope that the Government funds councils properly to deliver it.
While it may be inconvenient, self-isolating when required is absolutely the right thing to do if we are to minimise the threat of a second wave of COVID-19 sweeping the country over the next few weeks and months.
For the same reason people should get themselves tested if they have coronavirus symptoms. And everyone should continue to practise the big three rules – social distance, wash your hands regularly, and wear a face covering in public places. We must protect ourselves and each other to save lives.”