Families of NHS and social care staff who die from coronavirus in the course of “essential frontline work” will receive a £60,000 payment, it has been announced.
Announcing the life assurance scheme at the daily Downing Street Covid-19 briefing Heath Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Families and staff who die from coronavirus in the course of their essential frontline work will receive a £60,000 payment.”
He added: “Nothing replaces the loss of a loved one but we want to do everything we can to support families who are dealing with grief.”
Unison general secretary Dave Prentis has backed the scheme saying it was the ‘least we can do’.
He said: “It’s only right the families of all those who worked for the NHS or in social care, and who’ve sadly lost their lives to the virus, are properly provided for.
“Until now, the relatives of any low-paid health worker who died and had opted out of the NHS pension scheme would’ve received nothing.
“Nor would the families of care workers on precarious contracts. Thankfully now that wrong has been put right.
“Until their untimely deaths, all were looking after patients, saving lives, caring for the elderly and the vulnerable in our hospitals and care homes.
“Putting themselves in harm’s way, while most of us were safe at home.
“All the money in the world can’t replace a loved one. Nor can it lessen the deep grief relatives are experiencing.
“But providing financial security for the families of all those who’ve paid the ultimate price for their professionalism and dedication is the very least we can do.”
Mr Hancock announced that some NHS services which had been paused due to the coronavirus outbreak will be restored from Tuesday.