Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.
Factsheet for measure GB-2020-12/587 – measures in United Kingdom
|Country||United Kingdom , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Temporary, 17 March 2020 – 17 June 2020|
|Type||Legislations or other statutory regulations|
Measures to prevent social hardship
– Keeping or obtaining a safe home
|Author||Claire Evans (Warwick University) and Eurofound|
|Measure added||14 April 2020 (updated 21 July 2020)|
The measures - mortgage holidays and the prevention of eviction from residential tenancies in relation to COVID-19 - are part of the measures announced by the Chancellor on the 17 March, in addition to his Budget 2020 pledges.
The protection from eviction - set to last for at least three months - is set in statute in Section 81 of the Coronavirus Act 2020.
Under the new measure, if a person is experiencing financial difficulties in meeting their mortgage repayments because of COVID-19, they may be entitled to a mortgage or rental holiday for 3 months. This includes landlords whose tenants are experiencing financial difficulties because of COVID-19. Where a tenant is experiencing financial difficulties because of COVID-19, the government will ensure they do not face the threat of eviction for at least three months:
The government has agreed with mortgage lenders that they will offer repayment holidays of three months to households in financial difficulty due to COVID-19.
This will also apply to landlords whose tenants are experiencing financial difficulties because of COVID-19.
However, research by the Resolution Foundation published on the 30th May (Judge, 2020), analysed the findings of a YouGov survey of 6000 working-age adults, focusing on levels of housing stress, and how families in different housing tenures are coping.
The study found that while the earnings hit has been widely experienced across tenure groups, renters are one-and-a-half to two times more likely to have fallen behind with their housing payments compared to mortgaged home owners. Owners entered the crisis with lower average housing costs and a bigger financial buffer than renters, and have also been more successful at directly reducing housing costs in recent weeks. While just one-in-twelve home owners applying for a mortgage holiday have been refused, that figure stands at one-in-two for those renters who have sought a rent reduction. While the social security system potentially offers a (more generous) backstop for renters, eligibility rules and caps leave some renters without adequate support. The study showed that one-third of new benefit claimants are in housing cost arrears.
|Does not apply to workers||Does not apply to businesses||Applies to all citizens|
No special funding required
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
|Trade unions||Employers' organisations|
|Role||No involvement||No involvement|
|Form||Not applicable||Not applicable|
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
Whilst the social partners were informed as to the total raft of measures, they were not involved in the design, implementation or formal monitoring of this measure.
The measure first applied only to those with mortgages. There was widespread criticism, including from the TUC, that tenants would not be similarly helped, particularly when landlords are to benefit from mortgage holidays.
Eurofound (2020), Mortgage and rent protective provisions, measure GB-2020-12/587 (measures in United Kingdom), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/GB-2020-12_587.html
30 January 2023
Governments across the EU continue to implement policies to support citizens and businesses in the face of rising food and energy prices caused by the COVID-19 crisis and intensified by the war in Ukraine. This article summarises the policy responses as reported in Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch database from January to September 2022.Article
12 September 2022
Although the worldwide pandemic situation had already disrupted supply chains and triggered increases in energy and food prices in 2021, the situation deteriorated in 2022 with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.Article
12 September 2022
This article summarises the first policy responses that governments across the EU have started to implement to support companies affected by the rising prices, and those with commercial ties to Ukraine, Russia or Belarus.Article
Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.