News & Blog News Your July 2020 Direct Payment e-newsletter Independent Lives Impact Report 2019/20 We’re delighted to announce the publication of our Impact Report for 2019/20. Now in its fifth year, the Independent Lives Impact Report is a summary of everything that we’ve been up to over the last twelve months and really shows how the fantastic work that our staff and trustees do is reflected in the service we provide. If you’d like to read our Impact Report, please click here Coffee & Chat With everything going on at the moment we felt it was important to take a step back, slow down, and bring everyone together for a coffee and a chat. Taking place online, we’re offering an opportunity for you to talk to us about how you're feeling and what you're going through, ask us any questions about how we are continuing to support you, and to just be kind. Receive updates about direct payments, ask questions about the impact of the pandemic on you and your PA, and share hints and tips about how you’re coping during the COVID-19 crisis. Whether you pop in for 15 minutes, or stay for the full hour discussion, we’d love to see you. There’s no pressure to stay for the duration, just come along and say hi. Most importantly, don’t forget your coffee or tea! A link to the meeting will be emailed to you after you’ve registered, so keep an eye on your inbox and your junk email box as it may be sent there. To register for our next Coffee & Chat event on 22 July, please click here. If you want to submit any questions beforehand, please email us at [email protected]. Face Mask Exempt Badges In England it is a legal requirement to wear a face covering when travelling on Public Transport, and from July 24 a face covering must be worn in all shops, unless you are face mask exempt. The charity Euan’s Guide have created badges for people who are face mask exempt and who are concerned they may be challenged for not wearing one. You can request a badge by clicking here, although you may need to wait a few weeks for them to sort through the backlog of requests they are currently receiving. A list of people who are face mask exempt in England can be found by clicking here. People who are currently shielding will no longer automatically get SSP on that basis from 1 August 2020 The Minister for Disabled People Justin Tomlinson has announced that people who are currently ‘shielding’ due to being clinically extremely vulnerable as a result of the coronavirus outbreak will not automatically be eligible for statutory sick pay (SSP) on that basis from 1 August 2020. Mr. Tomlinson said that for those shielding, they will continue to remain eligible for SSP if they are unable to work and:• are required to self-isolate because they, or someone in their household, has symptoms of COVID-19; or• because they have been notified by the NHS or public health authorities that they have come into contact with someone who has coronavirus. For more information on this story, please click here. To make sure that you can be confident of your PAs ability to return to work, we recommend that you follow the DREAM employer approach: Discuss: make sure you have good communication with your PA, one to one Recognise: allow yourself to be fully aware of, understanding of and responsive to their situation Explain: take the opportunity to tell them what you need and how you’ve handled coronavirus risks so farAssess: considering your new information, assess the risks for your PA and their individual needs Measures: implement measures and take action to avoid risks If you feel as though this change in legislation is going to cause problems for you, please speak to your employment insurance provider for advice on how to proceed.