Information about money, work and COVID-19

Here is the latest guidance for parents about money, work and COVID-19.

Last updated: 20th August 2020

I have a baby who was born sick or premature and my work or finances are being affected by COVID-19. Is there any support to help me?

If you have been affected financially by COVID-19, you may be able to access help. Citizens Advice have up to date information about this on their website.

Currently, there is no government support specifically for families of sick and premature babies in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

If you live in Scotland, you will be able to reclaim travel and food costs while your baby is in neonatal care through the Neonatal Expenses Fund. The Scottish Government is also currently contacting families who might be able to get the Best Start Foods and the Best Start Grant. For more information about these grants, visit this page.

My baby/child is required to shield, but I cannot work from home. What should I do?

There may be some situations where your baby or child will still be required to shield, after shielding has been paused nationally. An example of this could be if there is a local lockdown where you live.

Current government guidance says you will not need to shield if your baby/child is on the shielded patients list, but you should be very strict in following all of the social distancing guidelines. You may want to talk to your employer and explain that someone in your household is extremely vulnerable and is shielding, and ask how they can support you with social distancing in the workplace.

Your employer will already need to comply with guidelines to ensure you are able to work safely. You should discuss any concerns with your line manager to see what other arrangements can be agreed.

Working Families have more information about your work rights during COVID-19.

We have more information about shielding on this page.

My employer is asking me to come to work, but I am concerned about my baby who was born premature or sick. What should I do?

If you have concerns about going to work, you should discuss these with your employer. Employers should make efforts to help people work from home where they can. But in situations where work cannot be done at home, your employer should help protect workers and create a safe place to work. Examples of this could be shift working or staggering processes.

If you are worried that your employer is not taking all practical steps to encourage social distancing then you can report this to your local authority or the Health and Safety Executive who can take action. This may include where appropriate requiring your employer to take additional steps.

Other useful organisations

Working Families have more information about your work rights during COVID-19.

The government website has more information about support for people financially affected by COVID-19.

Mind has lots of information if you are feeling anxious or worried about COVID-19, and has guidance on how to take care of your mental wellbeing.

We have tried to answer some common questions here and we are updating this page as more information becomes available. For more support, get in touch at hello@bliss.org.uk