Work and benefits

People are being asked to work from home if they can. Others are being laid off or are worried about getting paid or getting benefits.

Here are some places to find answers to your questions.


Working from home

The Scottish Government has asked us to work from home if we can. There’s information here about your rights when working from home.

Employers don’t usually allow their staff to work from home and look after children at the same time, but employers may relax their rules where you or your children need to self isolate.

 If you can:

  • Find a quiet place in your home to work.
  • Stick to regular hours.
  • Organise childcare/work shifts with your partner (if you have one) so that you can both work.

There’s good advice around about working from home.

Information on your rights at work

Citizens Advice Scotland has useful information covering what Coronavirus means for you and your work and information about your rights at work

One Parent Families Scotland has put together some of the questions they’re being asked on their helpline about what’s happening about work and benefits. You can also use their webchat to ask your own questions or phone the OPFS helpline 0808 801 0323 (weekdays 9.30am to 4pm). 

Sick pay

The UK Government recently expanded Statutory Sick Pay. You can check whether you are entitled to Sick Pay here.

Self isolating

If you are self isolating and need a sick note for your employer, you can download a form from the NHS.

Information for self-employed people and small businesses 

Self-employed people and small businesses may find that their work is being cancelled or that they can’t keep trading. 

The Government has started a grant scheme which will cover some (but not all) self employed people; you can find more information about it here

GOV.UK’s Covid 19 hub has links to sick pay, business rates and difficulty paying tax.

The Federation of Small Businesses has Coronavirus advice and guidance for small businesses.


The Working Families helpline can advise on all aspects of employment for working families. 

The One Parent Families Scotland helpline can advise about work and benefits.

HMRC helpline can help and advise businesses and self-employed people concerned about not being able to pay their tax because of Coronavirus: 0800 0159 559.

Social security (benefits)  

People claiming benefits may be worried about how they’ll be affected.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has information about what’s happening with benefit claims. 

The DWP is not doing face-to-face assessments and says that sanctions should not be applied. 

Social Security Scotland

The Scottish Government has temporarily changed eligibility for a number of Scottish benefits: pregnancy and baby payment; early learning payment; school age payment; young carer grant and the funeral support payment. 

This is to help people who are impacted by Coronavirus and can't get an application in on time. For more information and to apply for these benefits go to Social Security Scotland website.

Needing extra help 

Many families were living in poverty even before the outbreak of the Coronavirus, and it's likely that many more families will have little or nothing to live on and bills and debts to pay. There’s some help for families and others.

Make sure you’re getting all the benefits you’re entitled to. You can do this through the Scottish Government’s Money Talk 

The Scottish Welfare Fund helps those on low incomes in Scotland through Crisis Grants and Community Care Grants.

Aberlour’s Urgent Assistance Fund can provide cash grants to help families with children cope with the impact of the Coronavirus.  

Parents have kindly shared their experience of Life in Lockdown with us. You can read 'Lives in lockdown; parents' accounts here.