Flaw with NHS Test and Trace app hitting low paid employees, says pub landlord

The flaw in the Test and Trace system could mean low income employees are out of pocket. Credit: PA

The flaw in the Test and Trace system could mean low income employees are out of pocket. Credit: PA - Credit: Archant

A pub landlord says a flaw with the NHS Test and Trace app could be leaving low income employees out of pocket.

Management at The Angel in Loddon noticed the flaw. Credit: Google Maps

Management at The Angel in Loddon noticed the flaw. Credit: Google Maps - Credit: Archant

Management at The Angel in Loddon, say some of their employees who had to self-isolate for 14 days after a positive case at the pub in October are not eligible for the Government’s Test and Trace support grants of £500 if they have only been notified to self-isolate via the app.

They are only eligible for the grant if they have been notified to self-isolate via phone, email, letter or text message.

A spokesperson for the pub said: “The criteria on the government website says if you are told to isolate, you isolate.

“The council say ‘if the NHS Test and Trace app notifies you to self-isolate because you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus, but you have not been contacted by NHS Test and Trace by phone, email, letter or text message, you cannot currently apply for the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme’.

People are currently notified by the NHS Test and Trace App whether they need to self-isolate. Credi

People are currently notified by the NHS Test and Trace App whether they need to self-isolate. Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Archant


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“So in our case and probably in very many other cases, the Government and council do not appear to recognise this as an official message worthy of paying out the grant, as there was no additional phone, email, letter, text received - however, they expect the isolation to happen which would be detrimental to income.

“If a lower income worker gets a message like the ones we got to isolate, with kids to feed and bills to pay, would there be a temptation to delete the app and go on working?”

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The Department for Health and Social Care oversees the running of the app and admitted it was looking at the loophole.

A spokesperson for the Department said: “The NHS Covid-19 app is voluntary with users of it remaining anonymous, which means that currently people are not eligible for the support payment if they are advised by the app to self-isolate because they have had close contact with someone who has tested positive, but we are actively exploring ways to expand the payment scheme to include this group of users.”

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