Responding to the warning by the Royal Mencap Society that the survival of care providers is at risk due to a dispute over sleep-in pay for carers, Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:
“The Government needs to make the law clear about whether the National Living Wage should apply for sleep-in shifts and stop HMRC’s six-year retrospective action to seek costs and penalties from providers of social care until it does this.
“The current uncertainty is causing worry for care workers, the people they care for and their families. It risks care providers going bust, contracts being handed back to councils and care workers being made unemployed. People who pay for their own care or employ a personal assistant could also be forced to meet back-pay claims.
“Councils face a £2.3 billion annual social care funding gap by 2020. If the Government decides the NLW or a new rate should apply for sleep-ins, it must provide councils with genuinely new money to cover the cost. Individuals paying for their own care and hard working families who face the risk of having to pay back benefits they have received over the past six years will also need to be protected.”