COVID-19 Emergency Grant

COVID-19 Emergency Grant.

This grant is closed for new applications.

Our team is focusing awarding Covid-19 Grants which will be a one-off payment of £250 per household for successful applicants. 

We won’t be able to help everyone who applies but we will aim to reach as many people as the fund allows.  If you have any questions please call our 24/7 helpline on 0808 802 0282 or if you are a member of our Employee Assistance Programme please call 0808 802 2111.


Updated 27/03/2020

We are receiving lots of questions about our emergency Covid-19 Grant. We will not be able to respond to all questions individually via our social media channels or via calls to our mainline but hopefully you will find an answer to your question below. 

If you don’t see an answer to your question below please email, and our grants team will respond to you as soon as possible.


Our COVID-19 GRANT funds are likely to fall short of demand, so we recommend that you do not delay applying for government help. 

We also recommend as applicable speaking to your mortgage provider or landlord re: your situation and how they might be able to support you.  This also applies to banks and other lenders re: loans, credit cards and overdrafts.  Please also speak to your utility providers if you have concerns about maintaining supply or topping up your meter.  Cancel where you can any non-essential bills.

We have received over two years’ worth of applications in a matter of hours, we are a small team working in very difficult circumstances to try to help as many people as we can, please bear with us.

What help can you offer hospitality workers experiencing financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus outbreak?

We are offered a one-off hardship grant of £250 per household. Applications opened at 9 am on Monday 23 March on a first- come-first-served basis.  These are grants not loans so you will not be asked to pay any money back.


Priority will be given to completed applications with all supporting evidence. Incomplete applications or those with information missing will not be considered until correctly completed full applications have been processed.

Sadly, we won’t be able to help everyone who applies. But we will do our best to help as many people as possible as quickly as possible.

How are you awarding grants & communicating with beneficiaries?

  • Only FULL applications made after 09.00 on Monday March 23rd are currently being considered.
  • Incomplete applications such as those that didn’t include the applicant’s or their partner’s (where stipulated) bank statements, communication from employers or an incomplete application form cannot be processed currently and will only be reviewed when other fully-completed applications have been processed if funds remain. This is also the case for applications submitted using the incorrect form such as our Main Grant, or Winter Fuel grant.
  • At the time of writing the fund stands at £160,000, therefore 640 applications are queued for assessment and processing. As more funds become available additional fully-completed applications are added in date order for review. We will keep doing this until donations stop being received.
  • Correctly completed applications with all the correct supporting evidence have been batched and shared amongst case workers who are working on them in chronological order. Please rest assured that the first 640 correct applications received after 09.00 on 23/03/2020 will be paid.
  • Successful applications are batched, checked and payed at 5pm each week day with beneficiaries emailed at the same time as funds are released. funds paid out Monday to Thursday will be in the beneficiaries bank account the following day.  Funds paid out on Friday will be in the beneficiaries bank account on the following Monday.
  • At this time unsuccessful applicants or those who submitted incomplete paperwork are not being contacted while we focus our entire grants team on processing and paying. As soon as we can we will contact all applicants and try our best to point to other sources of support which may include our Main Grant programme.
  • Our Main Grant programme has been temporarily suspended to allow our teams to focus on the COVID-19 appeal, it is our intention to re-open this scheme as quickly as possible. The average processing time for our Main Grant programme is 6 weeks.

Are you a genuine charity?

Yes, we are. Hospitality Action was established in 1837 and offers vital assistance to people who work or have worked in the UK hospitality industry. Our registered charity number is 1101083. For more details about us, go to

Who are we able to help?

For us, ‘hospitality industry’ falls in to two categories.

Category 1: you have worked or are working in any role for a company whose main function is the provision of food, drink or accommodation directly to the public.

By, this we mean the company you work/worked for has hospitality as their main function. In other words, hotels, restaurants, cafes, pubs, bars, nightclubs, sandwich shops, street food trucks, even cupcake stands.

We’ll support anybody who works in this kind of company - that’s traditional roles like chefs, bartenders, waiters, kitchen porters and receptionists, but also all other roles, e.g. people working in maintenance, finance, purchasing, security, marketing, in-house floristry, spas, housekeeping, groundskeeping and cleaning.

Category 2: you have worked, within the last month, or are working in a job where your direct role is the in-house provision of food, drink or accommodation in another business sector.

By this we mean that you provide food & drink in a company or place whose main function isn’t hospitality. For example you could cook in a school, care home, prison, hospital or military site; work in a staff restaurant in an office or factory, serve in a museum café, airport, railway station, even work in a fast food outlet in a theme park.

As long as your role is/was the provision of food & drink we’ll consider your application. If you were a chef, cook, kitchen porter, waiter, host, bartender, or you worked in an in-house café or grab and go outlet, you’re likely to be covered by us.

For a full list of roles that are eligible for support can be found on our website.

Some examples of roles that aren’t eligible for our support include cabin crew, travel agents, ice cream van owners and croupiers. 

What if I work on a self-employed, casual or freelance basis?

We can help people who are self-employed (eg chefs, owners of independent hospitality business) and work on a casual or freelance basis. We will need evidence of payments going into your bank accounts from agencies or direct from employers that you are working for on a freelance, self-employed or casual basis. If you don’t have a bank account and were paid in cash, we will need to see a recent payslip showing your wages.

How do I apply for the Covid-19 grant?

The Covid-19 grant is closed for further applications. We will update our website when our main grants programme re-opens.

Can I apply for help if you have already helped me within the last 2 years?

Yes. As this is a one-off emergency grant, we are not applying our standard criteria where we cannot usually consider a further grant for two years from the date of your previous grant notification letter.

Why are you asking for my bank statements showing income and savings?  Why not just a payslip?

Our Covid-19 grant is a one-off hardship grant for eligible hospitality workers of £250 per household. We need to see evidence that you are employed in hospitality, or have been within the last month, to ensure you are eligible for the grant. We also need evidence that your savings are below £1,000 for an individual or £2,000 for a couple - including rolling bank balance. We do not take into account any income you receive from state benefits.

We would usually also ask to see a payslip as proof of your work history but are only asking to see bank statements showing a payment from your employer and evidence of savings on this occasion as well as evidence from your employer or agency that your role, hours or pay have been directly impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak.  See below for further information about what evidence we need from your employer or agency.

This is to help us process the Covid-19 grant payments as fast as possible. 

How should I send in proof of income and savings?

To confirm your income, we can accept photocopies or screenshots of the following:

  • Latest full month’s bank or building society statement showing your benefits/wages/pensions.
  • Latest quarterly statement (for Post Office Direct Payment accounts).

Please send in via email with your completed application.

I get paid in cash, can I just send in a payslip?

Yes, but we will need to see evidence of savings and bank balance too, even if you are not paid directly into your bank account. If you don’t have a bank account, please send in your payslip and we will come back to you if we need further information.

What do you need to show that I am experiencing financial issues relating to my employment status owing to coronavirus?

As this is a one-off hardship grant we need to see evidence that shows that you are currently working in hospitality or have recently been working in hospitality, and are suffering financial hardship directly related to the Coronavirus outbreak.

To confirm your income, we can accept a photocopy, scan, or screenshot of any letter received from your employer or agency evidencing your redundancy or reduced pay and/or hours. If you don’t have a letter but received notification via email please include a copy of the email with your application. This can either be cut and pasted into a word or PDF document and attached to your email application.

I am worried about sharing my bank statements and other personal data with you. 

Please see our Data Protection and GDPR statement:

“How we treat and process your data with regards your application for assistance is covered by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU) 2016/679.”

Our Privacy Policy is on our site:

We will retain your data for as long as is necessary to process your request for assistance, answer any follow up queries and satisfy our criteria.

  • If you do not fall within our remit, your application was incomplete or your application was unsuccessful due to a lack of available funds, your application pack will be kept for 3 months from the date of last contact, and then securely destroyed. Your identifying details will be removed from our database after a year.
  • If you withdraw your application, the application pack will be kept for 3 months from the date of last contact, and then securely destroyed. Your identifying details will be removed from our database after a year.
  • If we request further information, your application pack will be kept for 6 months from the date of our last contact, and then securely destroyed if we have no further contact with you. Your identifying details will be removed from our database after a year.
  • Where a grant is awarded but not taken up within a year, your application pack will be securely destroyed, and your identifying details removed from our database.
  • Where a grant is awarded and taken up your data will remain securely on our systems.

If you have a query about these time-periods or would like to request a different retention period, e-mail with the details of your request and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

In financial hardship for reasons unrelated to the Coronavirus outbreak?

If you have been unemployed for longer than a month for reasons unrelated to the Coronavirus or working and financial hardship you may be eligible to apply for our main grant programme.

our standard processing time for our main grant programme is currently 6 weeks.

Please note: due to the high number of claims, all decisions on whether to award a Covid-19 emergency grant or not will be communicated to you via email.  This decision is final, no further correspondence can be entered into at this time.