Address: Room 254 1st floor Civic Centre Port Talbot SA13 1PJ | Telephone: 01639 763820 | Email:


Welcome to our information page where we will share important updates about Coronavirus. 

The situation is changing daily — please see latest details and links below



Welsh Government Advice

Keep up to date with the regulations here:

Your Rights at Work

Check out UNISON“s handy page containing information about Coronavirus and your rights at work: 

If you can“t find what you“re looking for or require further advice, please contact us at the branch office:

  • 01639 763820


Covid19 and Education Science and Public Health Evidence Issue 1


Letter to UNISON Schools Members 7.1.2021



Please see below link to announcement from Welsh Government confirming that the measure being developed by the UK Government will apply to Welsh tenants.

UNISON Welfare

Coronavirus: UNISON helping members financially

UNISON’s dedicated welfare charity is still operating during the current health crisis

See more information here: 


Benefits Update

Benefits update in relation to Coronavirus 20/03/2020 


For people in work: 


For the first 7 days of sickness employees can self-certify.  After this period of time you usually have to provide a fit note from your GP.  However if you are displaying symptoms of Coronavirus and those who or have been told to self-isolate because of this disease, the latest advice is that employers need to be flexible on this requirement   


Claimants claiming SSP because of Covid-19 or because they have been told to self- isolate because they or a household member is ill will be paid SSP from the first day of sickness.  Those who choose to self-isolate in case they come in to contact with the virus would not be considered sick.  It would be good practice for employers to facilitate homeworking for these people. 


You must be an employee to qualify for Statutory Sick Pay, you do not have to have a written contract of employment.  SSP is paid for the first 28 weeks of sickness or until your contract of employment ends; claimants will then have to claim a sickness benefit.  Two or more periods of sickness that are separated by eight weeks or less are linked and treated as one single period.  Your employer cannot dismiss you from employment to avoid paying you SSP – they will still be liable.   


People who are employed and receiving Tax Credits 


If you meet the qualifying criteria for working tax credit (i.e. depending on your circumstances working either 16/24/30 hours); you are treated as still being in work for the first 28 weeks of sickness when: 


  • You are being paid Statutory Sick pay; 

  • Being paid new-style contributory Employment and Support Allowance 

  • You are incapable of work due to pregnancy  

  • Receiving national insurance credits because you are incapable of work or have limited capability for work 


A change of your earnings is not a change of circumstances that you have to report; however by reporting this change you are reducing the risk of being over or underpaid when they finalise your award at the end of the financial year.  If you have had a change to your earnings and want your tax credits recalculated you should ring Tax Credits on 0345 300 3909. 


People who are employed and receiving Housing Benefit / Council Tax Reduction  


Housing Benefit is a means tested benefit.  If you have any change in your income (it decreases or increases) it is important that you notify your Local Authority as soon as possible who will then be able reassess your entitlement to this benefit and to prevent any underpayment or overpayment.  


People who are employed and claiming Universal Credit 


If you are working and claiming Universal Credit and have been infected with Covid 19 or you are required to self-isolate because you are ill or a member of your household is ill you will be treated as having limited capability for work.  You will not be required to submit fit notes to the Department for Work and Pensions nor will you be called for a work capability assessment.  As you will be treated as having limited capability for work, your work related requirements will be work focused interviews and work preparation.   


You should write all changes on your journal and keep the Department for Work and Pensions informed of your situation. 


People who are employed and not claiming any benefits 


If you are claiming benefit for the first time because you have been infected with Covid-19 or you are required to self-isolate you will be treated as having limited capability for work.  This means that you will not have to provide fit notes nor have to attend a work capability assessment.   


There are two benefits that you may be entitled to claim: 


To qualify for this benefit you must have met the national insurance contribution conditions and not be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay.  This benefit can be paid after SSP even if you still have a contract of employment. This is a contributory benefit, and entitlement depends on your circumstances as the claimant. There are no capital or income rules other than any occupational pension over £85.00 per week that is paid to you as the claimant can affect the amount you receive.  Claimants may also qualify for Universal Credit to top up this benefit. 


Universal Credit 


?Those needing to claim a means tested benefit (entitlement will depend on your capital, income of you and your partner) for the first time will now have to claim Universal Credit unless they meet the SDP gateway conditions.   


Universal Credit replaced Working Tax Credit; Child Tax Credit; Housing Benefit; Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance; Income Support; Income Related Jobseekers Allowance.   


To qualify you must have less than £16,000 in capital and meet the means test.  The means test will differ depending on your personal circumstances and what other income or earnings you have coming in and the amount of savings you have between £6,000 to £16,000.  Claimants may qualify for this benefit if they are in work; not working; sick or have caring responsibilities. 


Universal Credit can be the only income you have coming in or top up other income (e.g. statutory sick pay, new-style ESAto the level that the Government says that you need to live on.  


Statutory Sick Pay and other income is taken into account when calculating any entitlement to Universal Credit.  For example, if you are single aged 25+ and have no liability to pay rent, you will qualify for a payment of Universal Credit of £60.52 per month. 


A claim for Universal Credit will end entitlement to any of the other means tested benefits (Working Tax Credit; Child Tax CreditIncome Related Jobseekers Allowance; Income Related Employment and Support Allowance; Income Support; Housing Benefit).  If you are receiving one of these benefits you are advised to have a better off calculation to check if you are better off staying on your current benefits with adjustments or claim Universal Credit. 


All claimants must sign a claimant commitment and if you are claiming because Covid -19 or the requirement to self-isolate because you are ill or a member of your household is ill, your work related requirements for your claimant commitment will be work focused interview and work preparation.  The Department for Work and Pensions will tell you what to do. 


Council Tax Reduction 


Council Tax Reduction provides assistance to those who have a liablility to pay council tax.  It is means tested so it will depend on the income and capital of you and your partner; but it can be claimed whether you are in or out of work.  This reduction is under claimed, so it is important that you check your entitlement with your Local Authority 



Disability Benefits: 


Attendance Allowance 

Disability Living Allowance;  

Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit;  



These benefits are for people with a long term illnesses and/or disabilities.  To qualify you must have had or expect to have the condition for a ‘qualifying’ period and or for a future period.  These change depending on the disability benefit. Which disability benefit you claim will depend on a number of factors.  They can be claimed if you are in work and/ or in receipt of other benefits. 


New claims: 

New claims for these benefits will continue as normal.    


Existing claims: 

Anyone already receiving these benefits will continue to receive their current payments as normal.  If your claim is due to be reviewed, your benefit will continue to be paid until a decision has been made. 


Health care assessments 

All face to face assessments have been suspended.  Anyone who has a scheduled appointment for an assessment from the 17th March 2020 onwards does not need to attend.  Alternative arrangements will be made to carry out either paper-based assessments or assessments undertaken over the telephone. It is advised that as much supportive evidence is submitted at the point of claim/review. 


19 March 2020

Joint Statement by the Chief Executive and Chair of the Joint Trade Unions

Dear Colleagues,

Both of us are well aware of the concerns being expressed by staff in the current circumstances.

One of the strengths of this Council is the strong social partnership between the authority and the trade unions.  As you would expect, that dialogue is now ongoing daily with the interests of our staff and trade union members at the forefront of our thinking.

We are working through a range of issues but have agreed the following key principles:

  • The Council will follow government advice (backed by the science) to ensure that social distancing measures and protection of vulnerable groups amongst the workforce are fully implemented. This has very largely been done already;
  • However, we are clear that the Council must continue to provide critical services to our communities, particularly with the most vulnerable in mind.  This is why, for example, we have agreed a temporary redeployment policy; and
  • We are operating on the principle of “no detriment” (financially or otherwise to staff) provided the policies and procedures agreed are followed.


What this means is that we are encouraging sensible dialogue between staff and managers to address the circumstances of individuals based on evidence (not assumption); but operating within the framework that the Council has put in place.  Put another way, we are looking to managers and staff to support each other during this difficult time, particularly on issues such as childcare given the announcement made by Welsh Ministers yesterday.

Steven Phillips                                              Mark Fisher

Chief Executive                                             Chair, Joint Trade Unions



This is an internet link (accessible to those outside of the Council) providing information in relation to the Coronavirus – it also includes a video message from the Leader and Chief Exec. -  external / residents