Statutory Sick Pay from day one for those affected by coronavirus
As part of emergency legislation to deal with coronavirus, the Prime Minister has announced that Statutory Sick Pay will be made available from day one when self-isolating, instead of day four. The change will be temporary to respond to the outbreak and will lapse when it is no longer required.
Coronavirus – Banks to allow customers to defer mortgage payments
RBS has announced it will allow people affected by the coronavirus outbreak to defer mortgage and loan repayments for up to three months. TSB and Lloyds said they would also allow a mortgage window, and the banks said savers could close fixed-term savings accounts without charge. Mortgage repayment holidays will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. These measures are to enable people to access cash if they need it as the impact of the virus is felt. Banks are also announcing extra support for affected businesses.
Prescription charge price increase
The cost of an NHS prescription in England is increasing to £9.15 from 1 April 2020. A three month pre-payment prescription will become £29.65 and a year’s pre-payment prescription will rise to £105.90.
DWP to give pensioners £350 each when reaching state pension age and leaving Universal Credit
Following concerns about the length of time it would take for someone to receive their first state pension payment when moving off UC, the DWP has confirmed people on UC will be given a guaranteed one-off payment when they reach state pension age.
Airline Flybe ceases to operate
Flybe announced that it has ceased to operate. Many customers of Thomas Cook were covered by the Atol scheme when the company collapsed, but most Flybe customers will have purchased their flight tickets separately and not as part of a package holiday. That means most will have to rely on a refund from their credit or debit card provider, or claim from their travel insurance.
Banking compensation scheme for fraud victims
UK Finance has announced banks will continue to pay into a compensation fund for fraud victims until the end of the year to allow further time for a permanent arrangement to be sought.
Automatic energy switching services
Citizens Advice has said that households using automatic energy switching services may not be getting the best deal because firms are failing to do proper comparisons. The organisation is calling for the regulation of auto switchers to ensure customers are provided with accurate and clear information to allow them to make informed decisions.
Tesco Clubcard affected by breach of security
Tesco is issuing new cards to 600,000 clubcard account holders following a security breach. No financial data was obtained and its systems were not hacked but user names and passwords stolen from other platforms were tried out on its website.
Boots suspend payment by loyalty points following break of security
Boots is currently not allowing Advantage card holders to pay using loyalty points in shop and online after attempts to break into customer accounts using stolen passwords. Customers can still earn points though on purchases. The company is writing to 150,000 affected customers.
NatWest to extend scheme help to gambling addicts
Following a pilot by NatWest to offer help to gambling addicts, the bank is now expanding the scheme into more branches. Anyone who wishes to seek help, whether they are a customer of NatWest or not, is able to see a counsellor and access free treatment.