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COVID19 and being off work

happyfellahappyfella Member Posts: 55 Connected
edited January 7 in Ask an employment adviser
I am not sure if this is the right place to put this or not, so if it is not then please excuse me.

My wife who has COPD, got a letter when the Pandemic started last year to shield. When the shiedling came to an end she was very nervous about going back to work. This was for a number of reasons. One, is because she works in a supermarket and works on the shop floor. 2, because her work friends said they did not feel safe at work because the management and workmates were not taking it seriously. and 3, because her friends who went to the supermarket - Tesco said it was horrible and unsafe. She spoke to her COPD nurse and she said she had stopped shopping at Tesco because it was not safe and they were not taking it seriously. She also said because she had COPD she should not be going back to work. My wife was like a nervous wreck and when she shared her concerns with her GP they said you should not be going back to work and signed her off as long term sick. Her company sick pay has ran, as that is what she was getting when furlough finished after the first lockdown. Now she is just receiving £95 per week SSP.

She has said about going back to work and risking it so she can receive her proper wages instead of being on SSP. Against my advice she was going to to this and then Boris said all the people on the vulnerable list need to stay at home. For me he has not even considered the financial implications of this. Even though my wife has been told to stay at home by Boris yet again, all she is getting is SSP. I am just wondering if there is any advice out there on this issue. Her GP has said she could be off work until the summer.

Replies

  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Community Team Posts: 2,747 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @happyfella :) Is your wife receiving any other benefits at the moment? 
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  • woodbinewoodbine Member Posts: 2,213 Disability Gamechanger
    What Boris actually said was that those who were shielding first time round would receive a letter in the coming days with advice on shielding now.

    I have to be honest and say that we always shop at Tesco and have continued to do so throughout the pandemic and as customers we have always felt safe and that the store was following the guidance 100%
  • happyfellahappyfella Member Posts: 55 Connected
    Hi @happyfella :) Is your wife receiving any other benefits at the moment? 

    Just ssp and £164 per month UC
  • happyfellahappyfella Member Posts: 55 Connected
    woodbine said:
    What Boris actually said was that those who were shielding first time round would receive a letter in the coming days with advice on shielding now.

    I have to be honest and say that we always shop at Tesco and have continued to do so throughout the pandemic and as customers we have always felt safe and that the store was following the guidance 100%

    Even though i get 10% discount from Tesco I refuse to shop there at the moment. At my wifes store it is like COVID has ended and when it first started like it was even around. Staff were hugging each other, putting their arms around customers, and squeezing past customers. Most staff were not even wearing face mask. This was not just at my wife tesco, this was at five different tesco around the country.

    When I went into Morrisons i was shocked because it was like a different world. They had it all sorted from day one. Even my wifes friends who work at Tesco shop at morrisons because they say it is safer.

    After some staff complained the manager sent a memo around telling staff to take it more seriously but that lasted a day. I was in Tesco last week just to pop in and could not believe it. Two staff stood together with no mask laughing, and then a manager went over to two other staff and stood right next to them and was laughing and joking.

    One of my wifes friends has gone on the sick because she said she is fed up of not feeling safe and saying Tesco have not got proper measures in place and how customers are not taking it seriously.

    I think when we go shopping, we have to also think about those workers on the shop floor who are working hard during the pandemic.


  • woodbinewoodbine Member Posts: 2,213 Disability Gamechanger
    @happyfella I can only speak as I find, and I have been more than grateful to all those involved in making sure there is food there for us to buy.
  • happyfellahappyfella Member Posts: 55 Connected
    I think the pandemic has made us all think and look at the world in a different light. we are appreciating people more who may not have noticed before. It has also brought to light how under funded the NHS is and how hard they all work
  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Community Team Posts: 2,013 Pioneering
    Couldn't agree more @happyfella :) 
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  • woodbinewoodbine Member Posts: 2,213 Disability Gamechanger
    I think the pandemic has made us all think and look at the world in a different light. we are appreciating people more who may not have noticed before. It has also brought to light how under funded the NHS is and how hard they all work
    The NHS has been under-funded for many years now, firstly labour saddled it with £billions in PFI debt, then the tories starved it of cash. BUT it is still the best "free at point of use" health service in the world, and the largest employer in the world, if more people were prepared to pay more taxes and N.I it could be even better. But the fact is we are all it seems happy to be a low wage low tax economy.
  • happyfellahappyfella Member Posts: 55 Connected
    woodbine said:
    I think the pandemic has made us all think and look at the world in a different light. we are appreciating people more who may not have noticed before. It has also brought to light how under funded the NHS is and how hard they all work
    The NHS has been under-funded for many years now, firstly labour saddled it with £billions in PFI debt, then the tories starved it of cash. BUT it is still the best "free at point of use" health service in the world, and the largest employer in the world, if more people were prepared to pay more taxes and N.I it could be even better. But the fact is we are all it seems happy to be a low wage low tax economy.

    I don't agree with what you say about more tax. The government of all parties have underfunded it for years and years and use it as a political game. It would not matter if we pay more tax it would not go to the NHS. We are in a country where the tories like to waste money and where labour waste money. Lets be honest, the government are not really interested in the people who live here, it is just a game for them. Most minsters and MPs are loaded and don't live in the real world.

    I know a lot of people who work in the NHS as nurses and other levels, and they keep saying how much money they see being wasted. One friend said you have a manager for a manager for a manager. There is so much wastage going on at local level with no real guidance.

    The NHS not only need more funding but the people who are running the hospitals at local leve need t be removed and people who know what they are doing to take over
  • woodbinewoodbine Member Posts: 2,213 Disability Gamechanger
    When I started work in 1975 (oddly enough for the then Inland revenue) the basic rate of tax was 33% and the highest rate 97%, we have been dragged through decades of being told less tax was good; more tax was bad, and yet a bit more tax would give us back the services we so desperately need, what's not to like?
  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Community Team Posts: 2,013 Pioneering
    edited January 7
    I think you both, @woodbine and @happyfella make some valid points, and I don't think there's a right or wrong answer here, just varying interpretations on the subject based on various sources of knowledge. 

    I'm sure what we can agree on though is how amazing the NHS is, and has been throughout this pandemic.

    Regarding your wife's benefits @happyfella,, have you both considered using a benefits calculator to check if you are getting all of the financial help you are entitled to? Also,, I'm not sure when your wife started claiming SSP, but this normally runs out after 28 weeks, after which point the level of UC might change.
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  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 22,213 Disability Gamechanger
    Apart from Council tax reduction there's no other benefits you could claim because UC has replaced all the other old benefits. New style ESA isn't possible until her SSP ends.

    On another thread i advised you to send in fit notes for yourself to UC to start the work capability assessment process off, have you done that

    Your wife could also do this because she's unable to work at the moment but if it's not long term sickness then it may not be worth sending them in.

    Once you yourself are assessed for the work capability assessment if you're awarded the LCWRA element then you'll receive an extra £341 per month. You will also be entitled to the work allowance along side this, which means you'll be able to earn a certain amount of money each month before the 63% deductions apply.

    I see that you're receiving a rather low amount of UC. Do you rent or own your own home? I can't remember past threads but are you claiming at least dauly living part of PIP? I think you are but not 100% sure. If you are then your wife can claim the carers element of UC if she looks after you for at least 35 hours per week. There's no hours limit with this like there is with carers allowance so if she returns to work in the future then the carers element can continue. Although your UC is likely to reduce further, if she returns to work.

    If you have a health condition that limits your capability for work then the only option you have is to send in fit notes.


    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • lisathomas50lisathomas50 Member Posts: 1,457 Pioneering
    Is it ok to say that I find morrisons a much safer place to shop than tesco when I do go shopping  but I mostly shop on line  but I found icland very good where I live only 4 prople in at same time they also give you an apron which I thought was good 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 22,213 Disability Gamechanger
    I would agree with morrisions, i've shopped there every week since the very first lockdown.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • lisathomas50lisathomas50 Member Posts: 1,457 Pioneering
    @poppy123456 I was in morrisons early yesterday morning it was fab only me and the staff ha ha 😂 
  • lisathomas50lisathomas50 Member Posts: 1,457 Pioneering
    Oh well here we go again and a bit late to tell me considering I went out yesterday 

    I am tested every week for corona virus st the request of my dr 

    Today my test results came back and I have tested positive  for corona virus  but because I have lupus I suffer with alit of headaches muscle pain and breathing problems  any way I

    This is the third time now first time I was a carer in the community second time when I attended hospital appointment  this time from my eye appointment or the bus 

    Its a nightmare and scarey when you live on your own well hope I can stay stay out of hospital this time 
  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Community Team Posts: 2,747 Disability Gamechanger
    I'm sorry to hear that @lisathomas50! I hope that you manage to stay as well as you can.

    Are you going to be okay for food and other essentials? Please make sure you seek medical attention if you start to feel very unwell.
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  • lisathomas50lisathomas50 Member Posts: 1,457 Pioneering
    @Tori_Scope hope I csn stay out of hospital this time its horrible when you live on your own 
  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Community Team Posts: 2,747 Disability Gamechanger
    I can only imagine @lisathomas50. Fingers crossed you won't feel as unwell this time. 
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  • woodbinewoodbine Member Posts: 2,213 Disability Gamechanger
    @happyfella I hope the announcements by tesco /asda/ morrisons/ sainsburys/ waitrose that they will not allow customers in store unless they are wearing a mask or are exempt will quell some of your misgivings and maybe allow your good lady to go back to work?
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