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Eligibility criteria for the £1,498 additional payment for social care workers and how it will be paid.

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First published:
17 March 2022
Last updated:

The purpose of the additional payment

We are introducing the Real Living Wage for certain groups of social care workers. The additional payment demonstrates our commitment to improve the status, terms and conditions and career pathways for social care workers. We want more people to have long careers as professional social care workers.

Who is eligible for the payment

You are eligible for the payment if you satisfy all the criteria on:

  • eligible job roles
  • employment status
  • qualifying criteria

Eligible job roles

  • Care workers employed in registered care homes (children’s and adult) in a role where registration with Social Care Wales is or will be required.
  • Senior care staff, care managers and nurses employed in registered care homes in a role where registration with Social Care Wales or the Nursing and Midwifery Council is required.
  • Domiciliary care workers employed by registered domiciliary support services in a role where registration with Social Care Wales is required.
  • Care manager employed by registered domiciliary support services in a role where registration with Social Care Wales is required.
  • Residential family centre support workers and manager in a role where registration with Social Care Wales is or will be required
  • Personal Assistants employed by people in receipt of local authority direct payments.

Employment status

You may be eligible for the payment if you are:

  • full or part time
  • subject to a contract of employment, including ‘zero hours contracts’
  • casual or bank staff with contracts
  • self-employed and paid to work as a Personal Assistant via direct payments or in an eligible job role in a registered care home or domiciliary support service

You are not eligible for the payment if you are:

  • agency staff
  • casual, bank or staff on zero hours contracts who are not providing shifts on an active basis

Qualifying criteria

Staff who are in eligible job roles but leave, under any circumstances, before 31 March 2022 are not eligible for the payment.

Staff employed in eligible job roles on 31 March 2022:

  • you must have worked 6 shifts in the previous 6 months to be eligible for the payment, a shift can include induction days for new staff
  • if you leave your job before 30 June 2022, you will be eligible for the payment, if you satisfy all other requirements

Staff who start in eligible job roles between 1 April and 30 June 2022:

  • you must have worked 6 shifts before 30 June to be eligible for the payment, a shift can include induction days for new staff
  • if you leave your job before 30 June 2022, you will be eligible for the payment if you satisfy all other requirements

Job roles not eligible for payment

  • Registered providers, regional managers and other senior staff not employed exclusively to work in one registered care home or domiciliary support service.
  • Other care home and residential family centre staff not subject to a requirement to be registered with Social Care Wales or the Nursing and Midwifery Council. For example, catering, cleaning and maintenance staff, finance officers, therapists, business support, trainers, reception staff and activity co-ordinators.
  • Staff employed to provide education/training in secure children’s centre and residential special schools (including teaching assistants and learning support assistants) and not subject to a requirement to be registered with Social Care Wales.
  • Other domiciliary support services staff not subject to a requirement to be registered with Social Care Wales. For example, business support staff, trainers, finance officers and schedulers/planners.
  • Other social care roles not in registered care homes or domiciliary support services, whether or not individuals are registered with Social Care Wales.
  • Agency care staff.
  • Other care workers paid using direct payments from the local authority but not employed as a Personal Assistant by the person receiving care and support.
  • Staff in independent hospitals and hospices.

How will I receive the payment ?

Most people will receive the payment in their pay in June 2022. As this is additional income, income tax, national insurance and pension will be deducted from the payment.

If you pay tax at the basic rate (20%), you are likely to receive approximately £1,000 after deductions. If you earn under the tax threshold you may receive more than £1,000. If you are a higher rate tax payer you will receive less. How much you get depends on your individual circumstances. 

If you receive welfare benefits that are based on your income, this payment is likely to affect the amount you receive. We strongly recommend you seek advice from a benefit advisor.

Most people can choose to get the payment in 5 monthly instalments of £299.60. Your employer will give you a form to complete, which will ask you how you wish to receive your payment.

If you do not wish to receive this payment, you must tell your employer and do not complete the form.

Delivery of payments

Local authorities are delivering these payments on behalf of Welsh Ministers. Local authorities will contact social care services to collect information on eligible staff. Local authorities will provide claim forms to employers who will give these to staff.  

When you complete the claim form, you will be asked to consent to your name and national insurance number being shared with Data Cymru. They are completing checks to prevent fraud. The local authority’s privacy notice will be available. This form will also ask if you want to receive your payment in 5 instalments if this is available to you.

Employers will receive the money from the local authority to make your payment. For local authority services, this will be completed internally.

Employers will claim additional costs for their contribution to national insurance and pension. They will receive a small administration fee.

If you choose to get paid in instalments and leave before your final instalment, you will get the rest of your payment in your final pay.

If you have left the eligible job you were in at 31 March 2022

  • You will receive the payment from your previous employer
  • You will not be able to receive the payment in instalments
  • You must not complete a second claim form

This applies whether or not you have moved to another eligible job role.

Checks will be made to identify duplicate claims and this may be regarded as fraud.

You should raise any queries about this process with your employer who will bring this to the attention of the local authority as necessary.

You must only receive one payment (even if you have more than one job). You must not claim more than once as this may be considered as fraud. 

Eligibility: additional information

Work absence

If you are absent due to sickness, you will still be eligible for the payment. You will be eligible for the payment if you satisfy the other requirements but have not been in work due to being on long term sick leave, maternity leave, shared parental leave or adoption leave.

Staff who have been dismissed

You will not be eligible to receive the payment if you are dismissed at any point prior to the time the payment is made. This applies to:

  • dismissal through the staged disciplinary process or
  • instant dismissal for gross misconduct

If this decision is overturned at appeal / employment tribunal, you will be eligible for the payment at this time. You must satisfy all other requirements.

If you have more than one eligible job

You may only receive one payment even if you hold 2 part time eligible job roles at the same time.  You should claim through the employer for whom you do the most hours and complete the form when this is provided. You must tell your other employer that you do not want to claim the payment.

Do not complete more than one form. If you make more than one claim, this will be considered as fraud.

Social care workers living or working in England

Eligibility for the payment does not depend on where you live, it depends on your employment. If you live in England but work in an eligible job role in Wales you will receive the payment. If you live in Wales but work in England, you are not eligible for the payment. The payment is to demonstrate the commitment of the Welsh Government to social care workers registered to work in Wales.

Appeals

This process applies when a claim for payment has been refused by an employer or local authority.

Stage 1 – Local authority reconsideration

You can request a reconsideration of the decision by completing an appeal form. A manager from the local authority, who was not involved in an original decision to refuse, will firstly:

  • consider the application to determine if the grounds for the appeal are met

If your job role is clearly outlined within the guidance as not eligible for payment, there is not a valid ground to appeal. You will be informed that your application for appeal will not proceed. 

If there is any uncertainty as to whether your role is eligible within the guidance, your application will proceed to appeal. The manager considering the appeal may: 

  • find you eligible for the payment
  • find you ineligible for the payment
  • refer the matter to the Welsh Government Appeals Panel due to the complexity of the circumstances

This process will be completed within 15 working days. If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your appeal, you have the right to escalate your appeal to stage 2. 

If you have been informed that you do not have grounds to appeal because your job role is listed as being ‘not eligible for payment,’ no further steps can be taken within the appeals process. It is not the purpose of the appeal process to change the terms of the scheme or the eligibility criteria.

Stage 2 – Welsh Government appeals panel

If you have been informed that you do not have grounds to appeal because your job role is listed as being ‘not eligible for payment,’ no further steps can be taken within the appeals process. It is not the purpose of the appeal process to change the terms of the scheme or the eligibility criteria.

If your appeal has been considered and turned down at stage 1 and you wish to escalate the appeal to stage 2, you must inform the local authority. The local authority will provide information on this process in the letter informing you of the outcome of stage 1. 

The stage 2 appeal will be considered by the Welsh Government Appeals Panel, which comprises:

  • an independent chairperson
  • local authority representative
  • trade unions representative
  • employers’ representatives 
  • Welsh Government officials

The Panel cannot change the eligibility criteria of the scheme. The Panel has delegated authority from Welsh Ministers to take decisions on appeals and may:

  • find you eligible for the payment
  • find you ineligible for the payment
  • refer the matter to Welsh Minsters if the panel cannot make a confident decision

The stage 2 appeals process will be completed within 15 working days.

FAQs

New starters who  expect to complete 6 shifts before the 30 June

If you have already completed a claim form because your previous job was in social care, you must not fill in another claim form. You will receive the payment from your previous employer.

If you have not recently worked in an eligible job role you will be asked to complete a claim form. If you satisfy all the other conditions, you will receive the payment if your pay date is before 30 June. If you leave and do not complete these shifts you will be expected to return the payment.

I am a new starter in an eligible job role, will I get the payment?

You need to complete 6 shifts before the 30 June to get the payment. If your pay date is before the end of the month and you are expected to do 6 shifts, you will get the payment. If you don’t complete the 6 shifts you will need to return the payment (unless you are sick).

Why are bank staff eligible for the payment but agency staff and staff on temporary contracts are not?

The purpose of the payment is to support the permanent workforce. Agency staff are not eligible for payment. Temporary staff are not eligible for the payment unless they have a minimum 12 month contract.  

Bank and casual staff who have a contract with the care home or domiciliary support service are eligible for the payment. This could be an employment contract or a contract setting out agreed terms between the individual and the service. Providing work on an ‘active basis’ means that bank staff must have worked a minimum of 6 shifts in the previous 6 months.

What if I have been off work and not completed the minimum number of shifts?

You are eligible if you are employed in an eligible job role but have not worked the minimum number of shifts due to:

  • sickness
  • maternity leave
  • shared parental leave 
  • adoption leave

Am I eligible if I have been redeployed into a different job role?

You will be eligible if you have been re-deployed from an eligible job and are expected to return to this job shortly. If your substantive role is eligible for the payment, you should not be disadvantaged.