THE chief executive of a leading social care charity has welcomed a ‘lifeline initiative’ by the Scottish Government to enhance financial support for personal carers (Personal Assistants, PAs) and the individuals and families they assist.
Colin Millar, of the Scottish Personal Assistant Employers Network (SPAEN), said his admiration for the dedication of PAs throughout the pandemic knew no bounds and that the additional support being made available via the Social Care Staff Support Fund could compensate PAs who had to shield in the period between March and October of last year and who had not qualified for or been placed on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
Colin Millar (pictured) said that the new initiative meant that a situation, where PAs had been denied payments, could now be corrected and that, as a frontline charity working with families and their PAs, such a move had to be embraced.
He added: “It is great that the government has recognised that some key players in social care did not initially qualify for support payments and access to this fund will correct that.
“PAs quite rightly shielded to ensure that the individuals and families they supported were not exposed to the virus. The fact that claims can be backdated is key to maintaining the faith of PAs in the system.”
The scheme recognises the important role that independent support plays in supporting PA employers and ensuring that a new element of the fund will be available to PA employers and other social care providers.
The fund will enable employers to claim additional wages for social care workers amounting to the difference between 80 per cent of their expected income and the actual wages they received.
Fund applications will close on 24th February. All payments will be made to workers in the March payroll, in order to avoid tax implications.
Full details, including the application form can be found here – https://www.inspiringscotland.org.uk/social-care-staff-support-fund/.
The government has suggested that any PA employer applicants contact their payroll provider as soon as possible to highlight this application, and all decisions will be made and communicated to employers by 5th March at the latest.
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