Whoa! Averaging 66,000 Unique Weekly Readers! 

Local News

Plans in place to deal with any disruption to services

2 Mins read
Deirdre Hargey
BT Coleraine

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has met her lead team of officials to discuss the contingency plans in place to manage any disruption to its services in light of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking afterwards Minister Hargey said: “It is my top priority to ensure that my Department is doing all it can to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic including ensuring that the most vulnerable people get access to support.

“I want to reassure people that my Department has robust and tested contingency plans in place to manage disruption to its services. I am determined to ensure that those most in need – low income families, those with caring responsibilities, people with disabilities and our elderly, continue to receive the support they are entitled to.”

The Minister continued to explain new measures introduced to help those affected by COVID-19. “My Department is making urgent amendments to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Universal Credit (UC) regulations. The changes, introduced today include temporary removal of the three day waiting period for Statutory Sick Pay and the seven waiting days for people making a new style ESA claim. People who need to self-isolate for medical reasons to protect others will be treated as being ill. They do not need to go to a GP as there is a seven day allowance for self-declaration.

“In addition, we will treat people claiming new style ESA and/or UC as having limited capability for work from the start of their claim without a fit note, an assessment or some form of statutory public health notice. The effect of this will be that any work related requirements will be switched off, including the “Minimum Income Floor (MIF) for self-employed claimants.”

The Minister said that the role of the Community and Voluntary Sector has never been more important in delivering critical services on the ground. “I will be writing to all Community and Voluntary Sector groups who receive funding from my Department, to assure them that my officials are working to identify ways in which we could apply flexibility around our normal operating procedures, in order to ease some practical difficulties that they may face in the period ahead. It is important these groups are supported in any way that we can to deliver for the communities they serve.”

The Minister concluded: “This is very much an evolving situation which I, along with my officials, will continue to monitor and work with our stakeholders to respond in a swift manner. Indeed, only this afternoon I met with local councils, the Chief Medical Officer and other health professionals to discuss contingency plans.

“Finally, I repeat the need for people to continue to keep up to date with the medical guidance to help counter the spread of this virus.”

11364 posts

About author
An article that is attributed to the Causeway Coast Community Team has either involved multiple authors, written by a contributor or the main body of content is from a press release. Got a news-related tip you’d like to see covered on Causeway Coast Community? Email us - [email protected]
Related posts
Local News

Police are dealing with three security alerts in the Dervock area

1 Mins read
FacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsAppPolice are dealing with three security alerts in the Dervock area following the discovery of three suspicious objects in the area this…
Local News

Four men to appear in court charged with attempted fraud by false representation

1 Mins read
FacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsAppour men, three aged 19 years old and one man aged 22 years old, have been charged with attempted fraud by false…
Local News

Celebrate creativity with free virtual craft sessions this Christmas

1 Mins read
FacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsAppCauseway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s Art’s Service is celebrating creativity this Christmas with free virtual festive workshops for all. You can…