Housing support services facing difficulties securing funding for 3.3% SLW uplift in 2020/21

An agreement was reached by Cosla and the Scottish Government that social care workers should be awarded 3.3% increase in hourly rate through the Scottish Living Wage. This would take the hourly rate to £9.30 per hour backdated to 6th April 2020.   Reaching a national agreement took away the need for local negotiations and the intention was to show appreciation of the social care workforce and their response during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Housing support was included within the scope of the award of the uplift (COSLA guidance for commissioned services (s.16)) but in some cases local authorities have refused to increase contract values to enable the 3.3% uplift.  The Unit has heard from 6 organisations that have faced difficulties in securing funding for the uplift for 16 services involving 201 staff.  

National funding arrangements
Housing support should have been included when COSLA scoped and agreed the costs of the uplift with the Scottish Government.  It appears that housing support and homelessness services that are not delegated to integration authorities have not been offered funding for the 3.3% uplift.  It may be that HSCPs did not include housing support services commissioned by local authorities in their calculations.  This is leading to anomalies for providers of housing support who work across areas; they may be paid 3.3% in Glasgow (delegated) but not in Edinburgh (non-delegated.)

Next steps
All social care staff receive the SLW uplift as soon as possible in line with the national agreement and in recognition of their role in responding to the pandemic.  HSCPs and Local authorities should be required to ensure that adequate funding is provided to commissioned services delivering housing support services regardless of whether they perform functions that have been delegated to the HSCP or not.

If this is an issue that affects your services please get in touch with the Unit (yvette.burgess@ccpscotland.org ) so we can add your experience to the data we have gathered so far.