UK public-sector workers on COVID-19 frontline to get pay rises – Reuters


LONDON (Reuters) – Almost one million public-sector workers in Britain are to be given above-inflation pay rises, the government said on Tuesday, to reflect their work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Source: UK public-sector workers on COVID-19 frontline to get pay rises – Reuters

 

Benefit changes are driving demand for NHS mental health services


Unfortunately vulnerable person who have care and nursing needs are certainly being hit by benefit changes causing “substantial care deficit resulting from the impact of growing social and economic hardship”.

But on top of that the Service Providers who undertake to provide care workers to administer the care required to these vulnerable people are short of the Care Workers to perform this care. Workers are unwilling to come into the Care Industry in the numbers required due to the abysmal pay they will receive, especially when taking into account the responsibilities they have to take on in their duties of care.

Most of these Care providers are funded by either Local Authorities directly or the local authorities fund the persons in need of care so they can instruct a provider to provide staff or they employ their own carers by receiving Direct Payments from Local authorities or if funded by health they will be funded by Personal Health Budgets.

While health have been receiving some increase in payments from the Government, but in no way of sufficient proportions, this is not so for Local Authorities who have been subjected to cuts based on austerity measures implemented by the Government of at least a cut of 60% and even more.

So while there is a health crisis, there is also a Social Care crisis of even greater proportions, which could, if the austerity measures are not reversed see a dismantling of Social Care by providers handing bach Council contract due to these providers having deficiency of staff to fulfil these contracts. Many Service Providers are seriously considering if they can even remain in the industry.

Urgently the Government need to take this on board and seriously undertake to fully fund all aspects of Social Care, for if they fail to do so the decimation of Social Care will have a direct impact on health services, making a the crisis in health even more of a crisis, resulting not only a complete breakdown of Soc ial Care, but also of the health service.

If you think it is bad now just you wait and see.

It is because of the above that a petition has been created and I therefore wish you to consider supporting and promoting in any areas at your disposal the Petition – Pay all employed carers the Living Wage

Flash, (Families Lobbying & Advising Sheffield), a group of family carers of relatives with Learning Disabilities and/or Autism in Sheffield are concerned at the state of Social Care, not only in Sheffield, but throughout the UK.

We all know that there is a major crisis in Social Care not just in Sheffield, but all over the UK. This is in a large part due to the lack of persons willing to come into the Care Industry, of which the low pay is a prime factor.

Parliament are aware and have formed a Cross Party Committee to look at funding, recruitment and pay for Care Workers in the Care Industry.

The Government currently have a recruitment campaign for the Care Industry ‘Every Day is Different’ https://carervoice.wordpress.com/2019/02/22/new-campaign-to-recruit-thousands-more-adult-social-care-staff-gov-uk/comment-page-1/#comment-57 .

However, there is no mention of pay.

Please therefore, could you consider the following

#pay #employed #wage #funding #government #serviceproviders #living

Could you look at signing and promoting the Petition – ‘Pay all employed carers the Living Wage, created by FLASh (Families Lobbying & Advising Sheffield).

Petition link https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/236151

Please sign this Petition, however, until you then click the signature verification link in the resulting email your signature will not be valid and will therefore not count re supporting the Petition cause.

More information https://1drv.ms/w/s!Aq2MsYduiazglWxA60JAY_2cpvN8

We need this Tory Government to end Austerity Cuts to Local Authorities and then increase the Grants to these Authorities so they can fund Care Service Providers to be able to pay their care workers at least the Living Wage.

Please also see the HFT report ‘Sector Pulse Check’, https://1drv.ms/w/s!Aq2MsYduiazglXuM7Duz6HOYXvsv

If the Petition attains 10,000 signatures, the Government will respond and if 100,000 signatures, it will be considered for debate in Parliament.

Please support and share with your work colleagues, family & friends, Social Media, MP and Local Councillors.

For any further information Chris can be contacted on carervoice@gmail.com

Thank you

Chris Sterry
Vice-chair of FLASh

Govt Newspeak

A report claims benefit changes driving demand for NHS mental health services, the report warns of “widespread concerns about benefits cuts and the impact of universal credit” on mental health services.

A landmark report has warned that benefit changes have resulted in a “substantial care deficit resulting from the impact of growing social and economic hardship”, whilst also warning that frontline mental health services are experiencing sustained pressure due to cruel Government policies.

The report from NHS Providers examines the impact of welfare reform on a range of services, including NHS mental health care and homelessness prevention services. In particular, the report identifies “widespread concerns about benefits cuts and the impact of universal credit. It also suggests that loneliness, homelessness and financial hardship are adding to pressures on NHS mental health services”.

It warns that “demand for services is outstripping supply”, while concluding that planned funding increases fall “far short of…

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PA employers will not be exempt from further HMRC action on minimum wage : DisabledGo News


Disabled people who employ personal assistants (PAs) will not be exempt from a new government scheme designed to ensure that sleep-in care workers receive the minimum wage back pay they are due, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has confirmed.

Disability News Service (DNS) has been told by HMRC that some individual employers of PAs are still being investigated over their failure to pay the full national minimum wage (NMW) to PAs who had worked overnight “sleep-ins”.

And HMRC has made it clear that any arrears owed by disabled employers of PAs will eventually have to be paid.

But it is not clear whether those arrears will be the responsibility of local authorities who funded direct payments that paid for PAs, or if individual disabled employers will have to meet that liability themselves.

Other disabled employers of PAs may have funded that support themselves.

The government announced this week that it was launching a new “compliance scheme”, which will give social care employers up to a year to identify how much they owe to staff who have been incorrectly paid below the legal minimum wage for sleep-in shifts.

At the end of this period, employers who have identified arrears will have up to three months to pay workers what they are owed.

Those who decide not to opt in to the scheme will be “subject to the full HMRC investigative process”, which could lead to financial penalties, public naming and shaming, and prosecution.

The government had previously waived further penalties for sleep-in shifts underpayment that took place before 26 July 2017, and temporarily suspended enforcement action between 26 July and 1 November 2017.

That action in July followed a high-profile tribunal ruling involving the disability charity Mencap, which found in April that many care workers should have been paid at least the minimum wage for the hours when spent on an overnight shift.

An HMRC spokesman told DNS this week that his department was not able to say how many individual PA employers were being investigated for non-payment of sleep-in NMW arrears.

But he said: “The government is aware that individuals who have used their own money, or direct payments, to fund sleep-in shifts could be personally liable for NMW arrears.

“These individuals are themselves extremely vulnerable, and the government is committed to doing all it can to prevent them from suffering financial difficulties as a result of this issue.

“However, the law states that all employers must pay NMW for sleep-in shifts, and this includes cases where an individual becomes an employer.

“The government is working with local authorities to develop solutions that enable these arrears to be paid to workers without causing financial hardship for individuals.

“Personal budget holders who have NMW arrears will be eligible for the social care compliance scheme as part of the government’s efforts to make sure that vulnerable individuals receive the support they require.”

But he added: “The Care Act sets out a number of duties on a local authority to ensure a personal budget adequately reflects personal needs.”

Asked whether this meant that HMRC believed it could be the responsibility of local authorities to meet the arrears faced by PA employers who receive direct payments, he said the government had “engaged local authorities to ensure personal budget allocations take into account the rules on NMW and when time spent asleep is working time for NMW purposes.

“The government will work with local authorities to provide appropriate support on a case by case basis and intends to carefully monitor any additional local authority spending as a result of supporting individuals and the effect on local authority finances.”

But he had not been able to clarify by noon today (Thursday) whether HMRC believed local authorities who funded direct payments could now be responsible for meeting the sleep-in shift NMW arrears of individual PA employers.

Meanwhile, Sue Bott, deputy chief executive of Disability Rights UK, has warned that some disabled people are now having to cut back on their day-time support in order to be able to pay NMW rates during the night.

She said: “Although employers will have longer to deal with any underpayment of sleep-ins, the government announcement fails to get to the heart of the problem.

“Of course, PAs and other social care staff should be paid the proper rate for the job, but a direct payment must be sufficient to cover the costs.

“Unfortunately, what we are seeing is that people are having to reduce the support they have in the day to pay for support at night.

“The hole in social care funding just gets deeper every day with disabled people and older people having to pay the price through lack of essential support.”

Cllr Izzi Seccombe, chair of the Local Government Association’s community wellbeing board, said: “The fact that employers won’t have to settle any back-payment for sleep-in costs until March 2019 is helpful and buys some much-needed time to further understand the size and potential impact of the historic liability.

“But this announcement does not end the uncertainty for providers, care workers, the people they care for and their families, and those who pay for their own care or employ a personal assistant through a personal budget.

“It was misleading government guidance in the past which caused the confusion over whether national minimum/living wage should apply for sleep-in shifts.

“Now the government has clarified the position, it needs to provide genuinely new funding to deal with back-payment.”

News provided by John Pring at www.disabilitynewsservice.com

Source : PA employers will not be exempt from further HMRC action on minimum wage : DisabledGo News

Better funding for social care needed now to avoid staffing crisis | Care Industry News


A leading social care group has warned that any predicted increases in NHS pay must be matched by better funding for the independent care sector to avoid a

Source: Better funding for social care needed now to avoid staffing crisis | Care Industry News

Government’s VAT attack ‘sends out mixed messages on independent living’ – Black Triangle Campaign


The government has been accused of “sending out mixed messages” on independent living, after it emerged that it wants to charge VAT on the payroll services provided to disabled people who receive direct payments for their social care.

Cheshire Centre for Independent Living (CCIL) is having to take HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to the first-tier tribunal to fight off its attempt to force it to charge disabled service-users 20 per cent VAT on top of their monthly fee for using its popular payroll service.

The tribunal case is due to be heard in Manchester in early December.

Other disabled people’s organisations are also challenging the HMRC VAT demand on their own payroll services, but CCIL’s will be the first to be heard at tribunal.

CCIL insists that its payroll service – which is used by nearly 3,000 disabled people across the north-west of England who use direct payments to employ personal assistants – should not be subject to VAT under HMRC’s “welfare” exemption.

It has been trying to persuade HMRC to withdraw its claim for more than four years, but the government refused even to take the dispute to a mediation service.

Tom Hendrie, CCIL’s head of policy and communications, said the imposition of VAT on payroll services was “absolutely not right”, but he said HMRC had refused to see it as qualifying for an exemption and had “really dug their heels in about it”

 

Source: Government’s VAT attack ‘sends out mixed messages on independent living’ – Black Triangle Campaign

PA employers are facing probes into ‘sleep-in’ minimum wage back-pay – Black Triangle Campaign


HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has admitted to Disability News Service (DNS) that individual PA employers have been investigated, just like large service-providers such as Mencap.

The government has publicly warned – following a high-profile tribunal ruling involving the charity – that many care workers should have been paid at least the minimum wage for the hours when they were sleeping on an overnight shift.

Many of them should now be able to claim for up to six years back-pay.

But the revelation that individual disabled people who use PAs are also being pursued by HMRC for years of back-pay is now beginning to cause alarm in the independent living movement.

In April, the employment appeal tribunal ruled against Mencap and said the charity should have been paying care workers at least the minimum wage for “sleep-ins”.

Mencap is now appealing against the ruling.

 

Source: PA employers are facing probes into ‘sleep-in’ minimum wage back-pay – Black Triangle Campaign

Social care is on the brink. This new nightmare might push it over the edge | David Brindle | Society | The Guardian


Alys Phillips admits she found it daunting when she did her first solo sleep-in shift as a care support worker two years ago. But now she says she would willingly cancel social arrangements to do more of the 24-hour stints, from 3pm one day to 3pm the next.

Phillips says her work with people with learning disabilities in rural Wales and the Welsh valleys is hugely satisfying. She helps with daytime domestic tasks in their homes, sees the residents to bed and helps them to get up again the next morning. She is allowed to sleep from 11pm to 7am – but is on hand if something happens during the night.

“Things do happen, but not regularly,” says Phillips, a 23-year-old graduate. “I clock off at 11 and go to sleep and I’m up at around six, ready for when the residents wake; then I assist with breakfast and help them get ready for the day. I’ve become acquainted with numerous service users and their daily routines.”

While Phillips insists she is not money-motivated, she does acknowledge that a recent, significant pay rise for the sleep-ins has proved very welcome. Previously she was paid a flat £30 for the eight hours of presumed sleeping time. Now she gets £57, almost double. She works for Cartrefi Cymru – a not-for-profit support provider – in its office, as well as in people’s homes. Cartrefi is one of a small minority of providers that have been able to raise their sleep-in rates in line with an official reinterpretation of minimum-pay rules that is said to be presenting a “£200m-ish” headache for the social care sector.

That considerable sum is the estimate made by the UK government care minister, David Mowat, who told MPs last week that the sector faced “quite a serious issue” for which no cost provision had been made. “There was a court case around sleepovers in which the law was clarified in a way that the government didn’t expect it to be clarified,” he said. “Now, potentially, charities – and indeed individuals who have got personal budgets – could be held liable for minimum-wage violations going back six years. And the cost is enormous.” (This is the same minister who suggested tackling the care crisis by requiring people to be as responsible for their parents as they were for their children.)

Source: Social care is on the brink. This new nightmare might push it over the edge | David Brindle | Society | The Guardian

The right to choose your own care is the latest casualty of council cuts | Frances Ryan | Society | The Guardian


It is true that social care support is in decline due to the Governments austerity cuts to Local Authorities, thus requiring Local Authorities to make savings. Some councils are reducing care packages in part to achieve these savings, but the Care Act provisions should ensure that all local authorities met all unmet needs as identified through an assessment of needs and the creation of a support plan.

Where a council is not undertaking to cover unmet needs people requiring care should be using the look again process, followed by making formal complaints and if necessary instructing solicitors to commence a Judicial Review, for which legal aid, if the criteria is met, is still available.

Where persons employ their own Personal Care Assistants through becoming an Individual Employer and funded by having a Personal Budget which is accommodated by receiving direct payments. By being an Individual Employer you will have to abide by all the various employment legislation and you will require to purchase your own liability cover. There are specialised insurance providers who cater for the care sector and as well as providing liability insurance, they can also provide 24 hour information and support on employment law, cover costs of tribunals, provide draft documentation for the various legal and employment aspects and others, so in effect you are purchasing your own HR department.

The costs of these packages should be part of the assessment of needs and be included in the support plan, as should any costs relating to recruitment, managing supervision, producing the support plan, if this is achieved out with of the local authority then also the costs of this. If the person requiring care does not have the ability conduct any of this by themselves or does not have the capacity and do not have any family members who can do this on their behalf, then they will be entitled to receive the services of an independent advocate and again any costs relating to this will be covered by the respective local authority.

Unfortunately all of this will require pressures on time and perseverance, which can be extremely stressful.

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Personal budgets were designed to give disabled people more independence. But the social care funding crisis is leaving families in the lurch

Source: The right to choose your own care is the latest casualty of council cuts | Frances Ryan | Society | The Guardian

Secret report reveals council ‘deception’ on personal budgets | Community Care


Somerset council has been accused of ‘deception’ after a report revealed it used ‘questionable’ tactics to boost personal budgets performance

Source: Secret report reveals council ‘deception’ on personal budgets | Community Care