Life assurance scheme for NHS workers and social care workers

Recognising the increased risk faced by health and care workers on the front line, the Government has introduced a life assurance scheme that will provide a death-in-service benefit of £60,000 to the estate of eligible workers in England who die from coronavirus (COVID-19) in the course of their front-line work. Funding will be provided to support similar schemes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The scheme is in operation for the period during which the NHS provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020 are in force (ie from 25 March 2020 until the NHS provisions are suspended or have expired), but claims for deaths occurring before this will be considered.

Payments received from the scheme are in addition to any death benefits received from the deceased member’s pension scheme. SI 2020/615 provides that the lump sum is exempted from the charge to tax on employer-financed benefits under ITEPA 2003, s 394 and an excluded benefit under ITEPA 2003, s 393B(3)(d) and hence not a relevant benefit for the purposes of ITEPA 2003, Part 6, Chapter 2.