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Interim guidance on who is eligible to receive the payment.

First published:
19 June 2020
Last updated:

This guidance is classed as interim guidance. Once we have all the details of implementation agreed with partners we will update it as final scheme guidance.

The purpose of the scheme

The scheme has been introduced to recognise and reward the hard work and commitment of social care staff who have provided essential care to our most vulnerable citizens during the most challenging period of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The scheme is aimed at staff within registered care homes and domiciliary care services and includes personal assistants (PAs). These social care workers are delivering care to people in their own homes. Staff cannot adhere to social distancing measures and they are at increased risk due to the numbers of people they are assisting.

Payment

Payment is a one-off flat rate payment of £500. An eligible individual can only receive one payment, whether or not they have worked in more than one care service during the relevant period (as agency or employed staff).

Eligible staff roles

To be eligible for this payment, staff must be:

  • a paid employee of a registered care home or domiciliary care service
  • an agency care worker
  • an agency nurse who has worked in the same setting for 12 weeks or more
  • a personal assistant paid through direct payments
  • have played an active role in supporting the provision of care.

Staff who work as or for contractors in care homes are not covered by this scheme.

Nature of employment

Staff must be part of the paid workforce. They can be:

  • full-time or part-time 
  • subject to a zero hours employment contract
  • subject to a permanent or temporary contract
  • from a care agency

Relevant time period

The time period of the scheme is 15 March to 31 May 2020. This covers a particularly challenging period of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Requirement to be in work

This scheme is to reward staff actively engaged in eligible social care roles during the relevant time period. An eligible worker must have been working in a relevant care service for all, or part of, this time period. There is no minimum period specified. 

Staff who would be eligible due to their social care role, but who have not been actively working in this role for any part of the relevant time period, will not receive the payment. This applies to staff who have not been in work for all of the relevant time period due to sick leave, furlough, maternity leave etc. 

Staff who have worked from home for this time period will not receive the payment.

Redeployment

Staff who have been redeployed from an eligible role into a job role which is not included in the scheme, and who have not worked in the eligible role for any part of the relevant time period, will not receive the payment. 

Staff who have been redeployed into a role which is eligible and who have worked for part or all of the relevant time period will receive the payment.

The term ‘redeployment’ is applicable whether this was a formal or informal arrangement.

Further details on eligible staff roles

Category of worker

Eligible for payment

Domiciliary care workers Care workers employed by a registered domiciliary support service are eligible. This includes care workers providing care to people in private homes or to people in a supported living arrangement.  
Care workers in care homes  Care workers employed to care for people living in registered care homes are eligible. This includes care homes for older adults, younger adults and children. It includes secure accommodation services for children and residential special schools or colleges registered as care homes with Care Inspectorate Wales. 
Nurses employed by care homes  Nurses employed by registered care homes are eligible for the payment. 
Ancillary staff in care homes Cooks, domestic staff, administrators, activity coordinators, maintenance and other ancillary staff are eligible for the payment if they have not been able to maintain social distancing and have played an active role in supporting the provision of care. Eligibility recognises those ancillary staff who have extended their duties during COVID-19 and spent more time in close proximity to residents and undertaken care tasks. 
 
Managers and deputy managers of care home and domiciliary services Managers/ deputy managers of care homes and domiciliary support services are eligible for payment where they have provided personal care during the relevant time period due to staff shortages and/or have not been able to maintain social distancing and played an active role in supporting the provision of care
Personal assistants (PAs) PAs provide personal care and support for individuals in their own homes to enable greater independence and flexibility of care arrangements. PAs are paid via direct payments made to individuals receiving care. PAs are eligible for the payment.
 
Agency care workers Agency care workers who have undertaken work for a registered care home or domiciliary support service, during the relevant time period, are eligible for the payment. Eligibility is for one payment only, even where the agency worker has worked in several care services.
Agency nurses - worked 12 weeks or more in the same care home Agency nurses are eligible for the payment when they have worked in the same care home for 12 consecutive weeks or more, and when 12 weeks is reached on or before the 31 May 2020 (the end date of the relevant period).
Allied health professionals Allied health professionals employed by, and working within, a registered care home or domiciliary care service are eligible for payment where they are providing direct care and support for people and social distancing is not possible.
Agency nurses – worked less than 12 weeks in the same care home Agency nurses that have worked for less than 12 weeks for the same care home are not eligible for the payment.
NHS nurses redeployed into care homes on a temporary basis Nurses in these circumstances continue to be employed by the NHS and are not eligible for this payment.
Social workers Social workers do not provide personal care in people’s homes and are able to socially distance. They are not eligible for the payment.
Regional managers/ Responsible individuals  Regional managers are not usually based within care services and do not provide personal care. They are not eligible for the payment.
Foster carers Foster carers receive an allowance and are generally not paid employees. They provide a service from their own homes, rather than other people’s homes. This is likely to reduce risk of exposure to COVID-19. They are not eligible for the payment. 
Shared lives carers Shared lives carers receive an allowance and are generally not paid employees. They provide a service from their own homes, rather than other people’s homes. This is likely to reduce risk of exposure to COVID-19. They are not eligible for the payment. 
Workers in residential family centres Workers are not providing significant levels of personal care and are not eligible for the payment.
 
Other staff in care homes for children Teaching staff, therapeutic staff and ‘office based’ staff in care homes for children, including secure accommodation services and residential special schools or colleges registered with Care Inspectorate Wales are not eligible for the payment. Such staff are likely to be able to maintain social distancing and/or are not directly employed by the care home. Their roles would not include direct care.
 
Support workers in supported housing projects, floating support, hostels etc Workers are providing support rather than personal care. If support workers do not work for a registered domiciliary support service or care home, they are not eligible for the payment. If workers are employed by a registered domiciliary care agency to provide care and support, they are eligible for the payment.
Early intervention and community based services  Social care workers employed in community based services are not eligible for the payment, unless they have been redeployed into an eligible staff role. This scheme is focused on staff delivering care in people’s homes. 
 
Volunteers and unpaid carers Volunteers and unpaid carers are not included in this scheme, which is aimed at paid employees of registered care services. They are not eligible for the payment.
Childcare and play services Full or sessional day care for young children are not registered care home or domiciliary care services. Care workers employed by these services do not provide personal care in people’s homes and are not eligible for the payment.

Annex 1: frequently asked questions

Why will cooks, domestic and other staff in care homes receive this payment?

Care homes operate as large households where many staff interact with residents and form relationships. During COVID-19, visitors to care homes have been restricted and there have been staff shortages. Ancillary staff in care homes have gone above and beyond their usual duties to assist with elements of care of people and have not been able to maintain social distancing. 

I have been redeployed from my job elsewhere to work in a care home or for a domiciliary care service. Will I receive the payment?

You will receive the payment if you worked in a care home or as a domiciliary care worker for all, or part of, the period 15 March to 31 May 2020.

Why are nurses in care homes receiving this payment when other nurses don’t?

Nurses employed by care homes are an integral part of the staff team. This scheme is focussed on care home and domiciliary support services and does not include NHS staff or settings. 

I have been on maternity leave from my job in a care home. Will I get the payment?

If you have worked for any part of the period 15 March to 31 May 2020 in an eligible role, you will receive the payment. If you have been on maternity leave for the whole of the time period, you will not receive the payment. The scheme is specifically to reward those who have been in work during this particularly challenging time.

I am a carer for a family member and receive Carer’s Allowance. Will I receive this payment?

This scheme focuses on the paid workforce and does not include unpaid carers. The Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services has agreed funding of £50,000 to Carers Wales to extend provision of psychological support to carers. Welsh Government has established a new Third Sector COVID-19 Response Fund worth £24 million and carers will benefit from the services this funding aims to support. Carers Trust Wales has made payments directly to carers from an Emergency Fund who have required support. 

What about personal assistants who live with the person receiving care, either because they are a family member or because they have moved in during lockdown?

The personal assistant will receive the payment if they have continued to provide care for the person in the relevant time period. 

I have left my job in a care home, will I still receive the payment?

If you worked in an eligible role for some or all of the period 15 March to 31 May 2020, then you should receive the payment, irrespective of where you are now working. You are eligible for one payment only.

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