The ‘R’ number (rate of transmission) currently stands at1.2 -1.6
The alert level is 4
There were no new local restrictions for Birmingham citizens this week. With exceptions explained previously, you are not allowed to have visitors in your house or garden, and you are not allowed to enter other people’s houses or gardens wherever they live. This is reviewed weekly at a meeting which includes Council Leaders, Directors of Public Health, the West Midlands Regional Mayor and Health Minister Matt Hancock.
Test & Trace Support Payment for people on low incomes
If the NHS has instructed you to self-isolate, you may be able to claim a payment of £500 for the self-isolation period.
Key points are:
- You must be working or self-employed
- Unable to work from home
- You would lose income by not being able to go to work
- You must be in receipt of a qualifying benefit
- You must have a notification from NHS Test & Trace instructing you to self-isolate
- You must have proof of employment or self-employment
- Payment will be made to your bank account
- The lump sum is subject to tax but not National Insurance Contributions
The support payment is available from 28/9/2020. The Council will be putting a claim form on its website on 12/10/2020. Payments can be backdated to 28 September but no earlier.
Remember that you can be fined for failing to self-isolate after receiving an NHS instruction, with fines starting at £1k.
Drop & Collect Volunteers
Birmingham City Council is still seeking volunteers to drop and collect Covid-19 test kits and provide information to households in designated areas around the city. It would be good to have some Cantonese, Hakka and Mandarin-speaking Chinese volunteers to support elderly, isolated and vulnerable Chinese who may be confused or alarmed by people knocking on their doors offering them test kits. PPE and training is provided.
For a link to the volunteer application form and to read more here
Covid-19 Community Champions
The Council is also seeking volunteers for its recently launched Covid Community Champions network
Annual Flu Vaccination
Hundreds of people die from flu complications in the UK every year; in some years, this rises to thousands. A small scale study suggests that having flu and Covid at the same time doubles the risk of dying: Read here
Having the flu vaccination this year is part of the effort to keep individuals healthy and reduce the burden on the NHS.
People in these categories are entitled to a free vaccination:
- adults age 65 and over
- children age 2-3 and in reception classes through to year 5 (delivered as a nasal spray)
- pregnant women
- anyone with an underlying condition such as COPD, bronchitis, asthma, emphysema, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, spleen problems (like sickle cell), liver disease or a chronic neurological disease like multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy
- anyone with a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medication such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
- anyone who receives a carer’s allowance, or you are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill
- frontline health and social care workers
- anyone who has a learning disability and are on their GP learning disability register
The vaccination can be done at your GP surgery or pharmacy. If you are not entitled to the free vaccination, you can book a private treatment at your pharmacy https://bit.ly/3dejoEU
Job Support Scheme (JSS)
The furlough scheme ends on 31st October. It will be replaced with the Job Support Scheme which is designed to help businesses retain ‘viable’ jobs. This refers to jobs in sectors that have been open but operating below capacity because of the pandemic eg hospitality and retail. Jobs in sectors that have stayed shut will not qualify.
- How does the scheme work?
Businesses will receive grants to pay a proportion of hours not worked – helping them to keep part time workers on the books. They must pay for all hours worked as per contract. The table below shows how the scheme works.
- Key points
- JSS is open to small and medium size businesses. Large companies can apply if they can show their turnover has fallen due to Covid. Only businesses that are open and running are eligible.
- Must have a UK bank account
- Must be part of the UK PAYE scheme
- Grant does not cover Class 1 National Insurance or pension contributions; employer must still pay these
- Must have been on PAYE payroll before 23/9/2020
- Must work at least ⅓ of their usual hours. Shift patterns can vary but each short-time period must cover at least 7 days
- Cannot be made redundant or given notice of redundancy if the employer receives the JSS grant
Wages are calculated using normal hours and pay before lockdown or furlough.
JSS opens on 1 November and will run for 6 months. Employers will claim from HMRC who will pay monthly in arrears.
Other help available for employers
- £1,000 for every furloughed employee kept on until at least the end of January
- £1,500 for every out-of-work 16-24 year-old given a ”high quality” six-month work placement
- £2,000 for every under-25 apprentice taken on until the end of January, or £1,500 for over-25s
In our next Update we will give an overview of help for the self-employed.
本周伯明翰没有新的限制措施。 除了以前提到的可以豁免的特殊情况以外，您仍然不可以允许访客进入您的家或花园，您也不可以进入其他人的住宅或花园。限制措施将每周将审核一次，审核小组的成员包括当地市政府的官员、公共卫生部门的主管，西米德兰兹地区市长和英国卫生部长Matt Hancock组成。
- 您必须收到NHS 测试和追踪部门的通知，要求您进行自我隔离
政府在新冠疫情暴发初期实施的“职位保留计划”（the Furlough Scheme）将于10月31日结束。政府将推出新的工资补贴政策 – “就业支持计划”。该计划主要帮助那些因受疫情的影响，虽然开放但营业额下降的行业，例如服务业和零售业。处于关闭或停运状态的行业和岗位不符合申请资格。
企业将获得政府补助，以支付一定比例未能工作的时间， – 以帮助企业保留兼职员工的岗位。雇主支付必须按照合同支付员工已经工作的时间。 下表显示该方案的运作方式。
- 补助金不包括第一类国民保险金(NI)或养老金， 雇主仍须自行支付
- 申请过“职位保留计划”岗位，雇主若在2021年1月底仍保留此岗位， 政府将向雇主支付每个岗位1,000英镑的奖励