Scottish Care response to Social Care Support Fund

Scottish Care welcomed the establishment of the Social Care Support Fund recognising that no worker should experience financial hardship as a result of self-isolating or being tested Covid19 positive. This in part recognises that the money paid by national and local Government to independent providers has never included payment of SSP and other terms and conditions above the basic minimum. In some senses this is the State taking steps towards addressing its inadequate funding of social care services and workers over a number of years, and something that we hope will be corrected more fully beyond Covid19.  

The Fund requires employers to pay the worker then to recoup the monies thereafter. Despite assurances and ongoing work on resolving issues administering the fund, it is clear that it is often taking weeks not days for employers to receive these payments. Given the very real financial pressures which have resulted from Covid19, social care employers are in an extremely fragile situation and this makes it extremely difficult for monies to be paid out without urgent guarantees of recompense. Sadly, confidence that payment will be timely is lacking at the present time given the experience of delays in Scottish Living Wage and sustainability payments being passed on to providers when they should be.  This puts employers in an extremely difficult position of wanting to ensure that staff received the payments they are entitled to whilst running the very real risk of going out of business whilst waiting for such payments to be passed on.   

We are working closely with the Trade Unions, COSLA and Scottish Government to give the necessary assurances that will make the system work effectively, which it is not at present.