Guidance for parents

I have been contacted by key workers who are unsure about whether their children can still access school, so they can continue to provide essential services to keep our health service, public services and essential supplies going.

The link below includes important information for parents and carers of children at registered childcare providers (including nurseries and childminders), primary and secondary schools and further education colleges. This is for both state-funded and independent schools.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers

Guidance for employees and employers

I have been contacted by a number of local business owners and employers who are deeply concerned about their future.

Following the Chancellor’s announcements earlier this week, please make sure you are fully aware of your eligibility as an employer or employee. Follow the link below for the official advice from Government in relation to coronavirus and employment.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-employees-employers-and-businesses

Coronavirus and claiming benefits

If you cannot work due to coronavirus and are eligible for Statutory Sick Pay you will get it from day one, rather than from the fourth day of your illness. DWP intends to legislate so this measure applies retrospectively from 13 March 2020.

Statutory Sick Pay will be payable if you are staying at home on Government advice, not just if you are infected by coronavirus. This will apply from 13 March 2020.

If you are a gig worker and/or on a zero hours contract, you may be entitled to sick pay. Check your eligibility for Statutory Sick Pay

If you need to provide evidence to your employer that you need to stay at home due to having symptoms of coronavirus an Isolation Note can be obtained from NHS 111 online. If you live with someone that has symptoms, an Isolation Note can be obtained from the NHS website.

If you are not eligible to receive sick pay you can apply for Universal Credit and/or apply for New Style Employment and Support Allowance. You can also apply for these if you are prevented from working because of a risk to public health.

Click the link below for information about coronavirus and claiming benefits. It will continue to be updated. Please check this page regularly for updates on the arrangements the Department for Work and Pensions is making to support those who are affected by coronavirus.

https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus/

Sign up to Gov.uk email updates on Coronavirus

It is vital that we filter out any “fake news” about the Coronavirus, which can be very misleading and puts you and your family at risk.

The official website of the Government – Gov.uk – is the best place to find official advice relating to Coronavirus.

You can sign up for a daily or weekly email briefing from .Gov.uk by clicking below, so you have all the correct information at your finger tips.

Click here to sign up.

COVID-19 information

Over the last few days I have been working with my team to ensure that my office will remain open to you for advice, support and sign-posting to key local services. I will update this page with useful information and links, as more information comes out from central government.

Unfortunately, I am no longer able to take part in face-to-face advice surgeries. However, I am keen to hear from constituents about the challenges you face due to COVID-19 and we have already fielded a significant amount of calls and emails from individuals, families, public servants and employers, who are trying their best to keep going.

Please note, while my office is still functioning, I will be prioritising casework on the basis of need over the coming weeks and months. Casework that is not deemed to be urgent will be responded to at a later date.

You can still contact me and my team by telephone on 0191 414 2488 or by email on liz.twist.mp@parliament.uk.

We face a difficult time, but we can overcome it by working together.

Best wishes,

Liz