Councils respond to sleep-in back pay announcement

"Now the Government has clarified the position, it needs to provide genuinely new funding to deal with back-payment."


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Responding to the new sleep-in shift pay compliance scheme announced by the Department of Health, Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Chairman 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.

“Councils already face a £2.3 billion annual social care funding gap by 2020 and pressures across the sector – particularly on providers – are acute. If the Government does not fund the historic liability then we are likely to see more care providers going bust, more contracts being handed back to councils, and care workers being made unemployed. 

“The focus of this announcement is very much on historic liabilities. The Government cannot ignore the additional costs of sleep-ins in the here and now, and into the future. It is wrong to assume the Spring Budget £2 billion for social care can cover this additional burden. The forthcoming Budget needs to inject new money into social care to meet this pressure.”