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Hello,

I am looking some advice for my elderly father.

He is 79  years old. My mother is 73 and in poor health with several medical conditions (none of which meet the 'high risk' criteria the govt has set out however).
Both of them have had to stay indoors since mid March because of their age if they catch the virus they are ulikely to recover, and there are plenty of cases of it in our local area.

My father has been working for a company delivering car parts for several years to make a living, its a minimum wage job. 

 

We checked the government guidance in mid march which seemed to suggest he was eligible for statutory sick pay as he met the requirements. He tdiscussed this with work who said they would look into it. However the employer has refused him SSP because he is not symptomatic, he's just staying at home so that he doesn't catch it and die.

 

They have also refused to furlough him because they are saying there is still work available for him and he can come back any time, completely ignoring the fact that it would be at great personal risk to do so at this time, and would also put my mothers life at risk as they live together.

 

Is the employer correct to refuse both of these? I have read the information from the government over and over but can't see anywhere that says whether employers can outright refuse even just basic SSP, I thought that was illegal?

 

Since work has kept him employed he can't claim jobseekers or anything like that. Is it just expected for him to go back to work and just hope not to catch it and die? It seems very unfair.

My parents have worked hard and paid their dues their whole lives, never claimed a penny in benefits and still having to work in old age, and now something like this happens it seems there is no help for them.

I can't seem them being the only ones who will fall into this category and be left to struggle. I am so shocked and disgusted at the way employers can act like this, even when the government is willing to pay 80% of the wages they still won't let workers have it, especially given that it would be out of pocket expense for them until the govt money comes through at the end of april for it. 

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Hello and welcome to CAG.

 

I expect people will be along later with answers for you, as and when they're able to get here.

 

Would your parents' GP back your father up in being at risk if he carries on working.

 

Here's information from ACAS in case there's a nugget that's helpful.

 

https://www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus/vulnerable-people-and-high-risk

 

Best, HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Hi,

 

if the employer is not actually facing financial problems. Then they won’t be eligible for funding under the furlough scheme - it sounds like this is the case here. It’s for firms which would otherwise be making redundancies.

 

Does dad not get state pension? Has he checked his benefits entitlement lately?


Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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Does he get his old age pension? If he does then he cant claim anything else.

The work is still available so he can return whe he feels like it.

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Posted (edited)

He does get pension but it's very small and not enough to live on.

Work has finally admitted he is entitled to SSP but we are stil waiting for it to materialise.

Businesses really showing their true colours...take grant handouts from the government but don't want to pass anything on to their minimum wage workers and wont apply for furlough for them because they dont want the out of pocket expense till the end of april.  Make them fight to get what they were already entitled to it's disgusting. He's nearly 80 years old with recent eye operation and hearing problems and they expected him to just go away  on unpaid leave and die quietly like the people in care homes I guess.

He's not the fighting kind of person and the help I can give is limited since I can't be there. 

Mum's going loopy in the lockdown too, writing down the number of deaths every day and obsessing over every little thing on the news, she wont turn it off.

Can't believe how some employers treating workers like they don't matter after years of loyal service.

Edited by kte3

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Does your father get pension credit also? I don't know to much about it, but depending on circumstances I think it tops up your state pension, but if he is working his income might be to much to get it, but now he is not he might be entitled to it possibly.

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the point is if he gets a state pension that is seen as the pinnacle of the benefits pyramid and he wont be entitiled to anything else unless his income is so low he is entitled to extra help.

he wont have paid NI contributions for the last 15 years so not eligible to relaetd benefits like SSP so he may well ahve that clawed back if his employers has paid it.

Look  into attendance allowance for mum, he may be eligible for something there but agai being on the state pension limits what they pay and to whom.

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, ericsbrother said:

the point is if he gets a state pension that is seen as the pinnacle of the benefits pyramid and he wont be entitiled to anything else unless his income is so low he is entitled to extra help.

he wont have paid NI contributions for the last 15 years so not eligible to relaetd benefits like SSP so he may well ahve that clawed back if his employers has paid it.

Look  into attendance allowance for mum, he may be eligible for something there but agai being on the state pension limits what they pay and to whom.

Thank you, Mum told me it's not sick pay after all and that they are considering furloughing him, which is different to what he said to me before on the phone. Since he's elderly and hard of hearing and a little bit senile too it's hard to get a straight story out of him it's very frustrating. Wish I could be there to help.

Thanks so much for the advice I actually got the same suggestion from the job centre, I have now applied for attendance allowance for mum and waiting to hear back. She has suffered badly from arthritis for about 25 years but never applied for any disability or benefits, it's worsened so much over the past 10 years. It only used to affect her hands, which are deformed with her bones all missaligned, but now it's affecting her back, her legs and knees too. I usually help her out a lot on a daily basis, but of course can't be there during the lockdown so I have to leave them struggle and feel really guilty about it.

It's a horrible, I know so many others in the same position, this whole situation just feels like a bad dream. I know everyone will be wanting to take care of their vulnerable family members and feeling pretty helpless right now.

Edited by kte3

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you can be there in lockdown if it was part of your usual routine beforehand.

It may be you who creates the entitlement to the allowance so dont just stop visiting because of the vagueness of the social isolation recommendations ( they are not rules). If you feel ill them obviously stop and inform your parents of tis so they know to contact their GP if they take a turn for the worse

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