UKHCA

United Kingdom Homecare Association
The professional association for homecare providers

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UKHCA Media Release

UKHCA welcomes the new National Living Wage - 31/03/2016

The introduction of the statutory National Living Wage comes into effect from Friday 1 April 2016, providing workers aged 25 and over with a wage increase from £6.70 to £7.20 per hour.

UKHCA’s Policy Director, Colin Angel, said:

UKHCA supports measures which improve the terms and conditions of low-paid workforces. We note that Government’s announcement on the National Living Wage is offset to some degree by changes to employers’ National Insurance contributions. However, due to the age profile of the social care workforce this will not have a significant impact on the cost of homecare.”

As employers, responsibility rests with the homecare providers, to comply with the National Living Wage and ensure that care workers receive the appropriate remuneration.

Colin Angel continued:

“Whilst employers are responsible for meeting the increased cost of the National Living Wage, the vast majority of homecare services are purchased by local councils, who have an extremely poor record of increasing their fees in response. The impact of constrained public spending by councils has been subject to repeated criticism from the Low Pay Commission.

“Indeed, while we believe that the vast majority of councils in England have adopted the 2% council tax precept for adult social care, a significant proportion of councils have failed to advise providers of sufficient rate increases to meet the costs of the National Living Wage.

“Without urgent action from Government and local councils to address the deficit in funding, continued supply of state-funded homecare will become unviable at a time when Government looks to social care services to support an over-stretched NHS, particularly supporting people to leave hospital promptly.

“Market exit by providers would cause considerable distress for people who use homecare services and their families; create a significant burden for local councils who would have to find replacement providers and provide uncertain employment prospects for trained and committed careworkers.”

UKHCA estimates that in order to address the existing under-funding of homecare and implement the National Living Wage, requires an increase of funding of at least £753 million from councils and the NHS in the first year alone.

In recent months UKHCA has been working to ensure that councils in England, Wales, Scotland and the social care trusts in Northern Ireland have received information about the need to ensure their rates enable providers to comply with the National Minimum Wage. We are also providing evidence to the Department of Health where councils in England are using their new powers to increase council tax by 2% for social care, but not increasing rates paid to providers. UKHCA is planning a large-scale Freedom of Information Act enquiry across the UK to check the prices councils and trusts are paying from April onwards.

UKHCA have provided members with information and produced a National Living Wage toolkit to help them understand the regulations. The toolkit is available from:
http://www.ukhca.co.uk/downloads.aspx?ID=422

Ends.

Notes for Editors

1. The rates per hour for the National Minimum Wage from 1 April are:

  • £7.20 (the “National Living Wage”) for workers aged 25 years and above.
  • £6.70 for workers aged 21 years or over, but under 25 years
  • £5.30 for workers aged 18 years or over, but under 21 years
  • £3.87 for a worker who is aged under 18 years
  • £3.30 for apprentices aged 16 to 18 years and those aged 19 years and over who are in their first year.

2. Penalties for non – payment of the National Minimum Wage are:

  • 100% of the arrears owed, with a maximum penalty of £20,000 per worker.
  • This doubles to 200% of the arrears owed per worker from 1 April 2016.
  • The penalty is halved if paid within 14 days.
  • There is a range of criminal offences, including refusing or wilfully neglecting to pay the minimum wage, with potentially unlimited fines in the most cases.

3. UKHCA’s mission, as a member-led professional association, is to promote high quality, sustainable care services so that people can continue to live at home and in their local community. We do this by campaigning and through leadership and support to social care providers.

4. UKHCA has a vetting procedure for its members, all of whom agree to abide by the Association’s Code of Practice, which can be found at www.ukhca.co.uk/codeofpractice.aspx.

5. Homecare encompasses provision of personal care, to people in their own homes. For many, homecare is the alternative of choice for people who would otherwise need to move into residential accommodation.

6. The majority of homecare is funded by the state (usually by local council social services departments, Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), or Health and Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland). However, homecare services are largely delivered by independent and voluntary sector providers working under contracts with the statutory sector.

7. Regularly updated statistical information about homecare services in all four UK administrations is available from "An Overview of the UK Domiciliary Care Sector"

8. A high resolution royalty-free image of Colin Angel, Policy Director is available for use.

www.ukhca.co.uk/images/highres/angel_colin_20140701_079.jpg

9. For further information please contact:

Colin Angel, Policy and Campaigns Director
United Kingdom Homecare Association Ltd
Sutton Business Centre, Restmor Way, Wallington, SM6 7AH

Telephone: 020 8661 8188
Mobile: 07920 788993
E-mail: media@ukhca.co.uk
Website: www.ukhca.co.uk

Registered in England, No. 3083104.

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