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The Labour MP for Warwick and Leamington Matt Western has today (Monday 19 October) asked the Government to provide financial support to parents who need to take time out of work to care for children in the event of a school closing following a Covid outbreak.
In Parliament, Mr Western suggested to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions that the Government should extend the eligibility of the Government’s financial support payment of £500 for low-income families who need to self-isolate.
Mr Western described that a local school in Warwick and Leamington had to close with just 24 hours’ notice after a Covid outbreak had been discovered. He argued that working parents with children whose schools close as a result of a Covid outbreak should be eligible for the payment as they will be losing vital pay in order to care for their children.
Schools across the country are “closing at a rapid rate”, the MP later suggests.
The Secretary of State did not commit to doing so in her response.
Speaking about his suggestion, Mr Western said:
“Too many families across the country are already struggling with the huge financial hardships placed on them as a result of the pandemic. We need to ensure working people are financially protected as far as possible, so they are able to stick to the rules.
“Some parents simply cannot afford to take time off work to care for their children if their schools order them to self-isolate. Many schools across the country are closing at a rapid rate and at very short notice, often less than 24 hours.
“It is imperative that the Government urgently act to extend their support to low-income families if they have to stop working during their sons and daughters have to stay at home.”