As part of its Spending Review announcement on 15th of December 2016, the Scottish Government has reconfirmed its commitment to the Living Wage in adult social care, and has allocated a significant sum to this in the budget for 2017/18.
£107 million has been allocated to support the continued delivery of the Living Wage and sustainability within the sector. It is envisaged that the increased rate of £8.45 per hour will be paid, from at least the 1st of May 2017, to care workers supporting adults in care homes and care at home/housing support settings and should now include, where it hasn’t already, adult day care workers and personal assistants through arrangements made where care is provided.
£10 million of the total amount has been provided to ensure that sleepover hours are paid at a rate compliant with HMRC guidelines but this is an interim measure and the Government ambition is that sleeping hours will also be paid at the Living Wage in the longer term. How this might be achieved is being examined in conjunction with the stakeholders involved – including CCPS – and it is recognised that funding for this element may have to be reviewed at a future point this year.
Negotiations between the Scottish Government and COSLA relied heavily on input from CCPS, Scottish Care and Unison, who were able to monitor the situation and provide feedback on implementation. One of the main issues acknowledged by the Scottish Government was that in 2016/17 contributions had to be made by some of the providers themselves in order to meet the commitment to the Living Wage. In some instances this commitment may not be sustainable. Thus the Scottish Government has presumed no provider contribution for 2017/18.
The CCPS Board recently created a new committee to look at the specifics of adult social care reform, including the Living Wage, and they will continue to work closely with Scottish Government and other stakeholders to monitor the situation on behalf of providers.