UKHCA

United Kingdom Homecare Association
The professional association for homecare providers

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UKHCA Media Release

Skills and commitment of homecare workers should be rewarded well above National Living Wage - 14/09/2016

United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) believes that the skills and commitment of homecare workers should be rewarded well above the National Living Wage.

For visit based care, where care is usually purchased by reference to "contact time" (the time spent with people using the service), UKHCA calculates the minimum sustainable price for local authority care from 1 April 2016 to be £16.70 per hour. This amount needs to cover the costs of care, including careworkers' pay, travel time, travel costs and providers' requirement to operate a sustainable service.

We have repeatedly reported on the disparity between rates paid by local councils and the actual costs of care. In previous research, we have found that just one in seven councils paid the equivalent price at the time.

Whilst we and our members have welcomed the introduction of the National Living Wage from 1 April 2016, it has added further cost pressure on providers' already stretched resources. Even where councils believe that they have covered the additional costs of the National Living Wage this year, increases for 2016-17 have generally been insufficient to address the underlying underfunding from previous years which we calculated was already in excess of £500m for 2015-16.

It is imperative therefore that Government act urgently to address this critical underfunding and councils adopt commissioning practices which take account of the real cost of providing care. Failure to do so threatens the continued sustainability of social care services for older and disabled people in England.

Employers must comply with the National Minimum Wage Regulations, which, from the 1st April 2016, includes the National Living Wage. UKHCA provides a comprehensive National Minimum Wage Toolkit to assist employers in their obligations. (Available from: http://www.ukhca.co.uk/downloads.aspx?ID=422).

This toolkit includes specific advice for homecare providers offering live-in homecare services. We have also included a detailed guide to live-in care by Anthony Collins Solicitors in Homecarer - our members' magazine. http://www.ukhca.co.uk/pdfs/homecarer%20may%202016_NLW.pdf

Ends

Notes for editors

1. 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.

2. United Kingdom Homecare Association (2016) A Minimum Price for Homecare. http://www.ukhca.co.uk/downloads.aspx?ID=434.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. Regularly updated statistical information about homecare services in all four UK administrations is available from "An Overview of the UK Domiciliary Care Sector": www.ukhca.co.uk/downloads.aspx?ID=109

7. For further information please contact:

Michelle Gederon, Press Officer
United Kingdom Homecare Association Ltd
Sutton Business Centre, Restmor Way, Wallington, SM6 7AH

Telephone: 020 8661 8165
Mobile: 07393 012113
E-mail: media@ukhca.co.uk
Website: www.ukhca.co.uk

Registered in England, No. 3083104

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