DEBBIE Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, is backing calls for a Coronavirus Compensation Scheme for families of key frontline workers who lose their lives to the virus.
So far 50 cross-party MP and more than 6,000 members of the public have backed a campaign – started by Layla Moran, the MP for Oxford West and Abingdon – by signing the petition which can be found online: chng.it/2WCPksc6
The MPs have written a letter to the Prime Minister which says ‘those on the frontline of this battle against coronavirus are heroes’ and advocates for the scheme to mirror that already in place for the Armed Forces.
The proposed scheme would include:
- a lump sum up front
- a guaranteed income for their family
- child payments to eligible children under 18
- contributions towards funeral costs
The call follows reports that hundreds of doctors are less likely to return to the frontline or increase their hours because they fear their families will not be properly compensated if they lose their lives.
The Coronavirus Compensation Scheme should be open to the families of those classified as key workers, notably NHS and social care staff as well as teachers.
Mrs Abrahams said: “Those on the frontline, who are putting themselves in harm’s way every day to save others, are heroes.
“They should know that the state will help their families if the worst happens.
“A Coronavirus Compensation Scheme would provide security and comfort for those risking their lives in the face of COVID-19, although of course no money could ever compensate for any loss of life.
“I’m calling on the Government to introduce this compassionate compensation scheme without delay.”
Many NHS workers currently receive death-in-service benefit in the form of a lump sum to dependants as part of their NHS pension. However, returning doctors and locums are not covered and many practitioners have opted out of the NHS pension.
The Coronavirus Compensation Scheme would be in addition to these existing benefits and cover any frontline key worker who dies from coronavirus.