Welsh Government “urgently looking into” self-isolation support

The Welsh government is considering expanding its self-isolation support scheme following criticism from major unions.

A Welsh government source told CJS News today: “We are urgently looking at how we can extend the scheme in Wales to ensure all those facing financial hardship as a result of being asked to self-isolate are supported.”

The scheme was launched last October and offers £500 to some workers who are self-isolating but the Trades Union Congress (TUC) criticised the support scheme last week.

Joe Allen from the TUC said many people were denied financial support by the scheme.

“The main problems we’ve had with the scheme as it’s currently set up is that It’s quite restrictive only about one in eight workers qualify,” he said.

The TUC also criticised the government for not giving people enough information on self-isolation support, saying: “There is very low awareness of the scheme amongst the general public we believe.”

The self-isolation period was reduced to 10 days in December but the TUC said that this was still having a severe effect on households finances.

“About 1 in 5 of all people believed that there would be a negative impact on their finances if they had to self-isolate for 10 days and that rose to about 43% for workers who were lower paid,” said Mr Allen.

They called on the government to review and expand the scheme to make it similar to the scheme launched by the Scottish government last week.

“If you look at what the Scottish government have done in recent days they’ve said that their scheme will now be made available to all workers who are paid the real living wage or less, which is about £9.50 an hour, so something along those lines would be a good first step.”