The Government as launched a new life assurance scheme for eligible frontline health and care workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
It means families of eligible workers who die from coronavirus in the course of their frontline essential work will receive a £60,000 payment.
The scheme will cover frontline NHS staff and social care workers in England.
Funding will also be provided to devolved administrations to support similar schemes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
It aims to recognise the increased risk faced by staff during the crisis and will cover coronavirus related deaths of workers in frontline health and adult and children’s social care roles during the outbreak.
It will cover staff who provide hands-on personal care for people who have contracted coronavirus or work in health or care settings where the virus is present.
Bereaved family members will receive a £60,000 lump sum worth roughly twice the average pensionable pay for NHS staff, with the cost met by the government.
This will cover full, part-time or locum NHS and public health workers, including GPs, dentists, retired staff and second and final year students taking up paid frontline roles.
Within social care, the scheme will cover employees of publicly funded care homes, home care, directly employed carers including personal assistants and frontline child and family social workers.
Commenting on the move, health and social care secretary Matt Hancock, said: “Nothing can make up for the tragic loss of a loved one during this pandemic. We owe a huge debt to those who die in service to our nation and are doing everything we can to protect them.
“Financial worries should be the last thing on the minds of their families so in recognition of these unprecedented circumstances we are expanding financial protection to NHS and social care workers delivering publicly funded care on the frontline.”
Adding: “We will continue to strive night and day to provide them with the support and protection they need and deserve to keep them safe as they work tirelessly to save lives.”
Employers will be asked to initiate claims on behalf of the individual’s families and claims will be verified and processed by the NHS Business Services Authority, who will work with employers to ensure claims are handled swiftly and sensitively.