All 1 Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon contributions to the Coronavirus Act 2020

Read Bill Ministerial Extracts

Wed 25th Mar 2020
Coronavirus Bill
Lords Chamber

Committee stage:Committee: 1st sitting (Hansard) & Committee: 1st sitting (Hansard) & Committee: 1st sitting (Hansard): House of Lords & Committee stage

Coronavirus Bill Debate

Full Debate: Read Full Debate
Department: Leader of the House

Coronavirus Bill

Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon Excerpts
Committee stage & Committee: 1st sitting (Hansard) & Committee: 1st sitting (Hansard): House of Lords
Wednesday 25th March 2020

(4 years, 1 month ago)

Lords Chamber
Read Full debate Coronavirus Act 2020 Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts Amendment Paper: HL Bill 110-I Marshalled list for Committee - (24 Mar 2020)
Earl Howe Portrait Earl Howe
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I am aware that self-employed claimants will not be required to attend a jobcentre; universal credit can be claimed online or via the telephone. Self-employed people who are unable to work because they are directly affected by Covid-19 or are self-isolating will also be eligible for contributory employment and support allowance. As announced in the Budget, this is now payable from the first day of sickness rather than the eighth. I recognise that we are likely to see a wave of applications and that the system can cope with only a certain number at a time, but I am aware that the system has been geared up to expect that wave. I can only assure the noble Baroness that the officials and civil servants involved in this process are as keen as anyone else not to let anyone in need go without.

Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon Portrait Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon (Lab)
- Hansard - -

Those applying by making calls rather than going online are at the mercy of whoever answers the phone—if they are able to get through. While they are trying to apply there is a possibility that, because the system is so overwhelmed, they will not be able to get through to put their claims in. What happens to them? They are at home and not able to go to work because they are following the Government’s guidelines, but there is a possibility of them not getting through. In the meantime, their family is suffering. With all the will in the world, not everybody will get through. The Government need to bear that in mind when they say that they have things in place.