Guernsey essential workers eligible for sickness benefit due to self isolation

An amendment by the Committee for Employment & Social Security means more essential workers may be eligible for the payment. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Essential workers in Guernsey who followed public health guidance to self-isolate during the first few weeks of the island's lockdown may be eligible for retrospective payment.

The Committee for Employment and Social Security have passed an amendment to the rules governing when a person can deemed to be 'incapable of work'.

The change means that, if the States Medical Officer of Health requests a person cannot attend work if they have been in contact with a case of an infectious disease at a set public gathering or place, they will be eligible to claim sickness benefit.

It means that essential workers who self-isolated after visiting a Dance Festival at Beau Sejour, or two specific pubs in a set period before lockdown, may be able to claim.

This amendment by the Committee, although technical in nature, is essential to ensure that individuals are not penalised for doing the right thing, which in this instance was observing the advice of Public Health. We will continue to monitor this ever-changing situation to ensure that individuals are given the support they need at this time.

Deputy Peter Roffey, President of Guernsey's Committee for Employment & Social Security

Some essential workers were told at the time that they would not be eligible for the payment, but given this change they may now be able to claim it. The States is encouraging these workers to contact the Sickness Benefit team on 01481 222507 or by emailing benefits@gov.gg.

The change is only applicable to essential workers who voluntarily followed Public Health advice to self-isolate, after attending specific public events before lockdown. Those where self-isolation was compulsory will already have qualified for the benefit if they could not work from home.