Government announces support for social care providers

July 26, 2017

Following warnings that the care sector could collapse over sleep-in back pay, the government has announced measures to support social care providers.

As well as suspending enforcement activity, the government is waiving historic financial penalties against employers concerning sleep-in shift pay in the social care sector.

Ministers have worked closely with the sector in response to concerns over the combined impact which financial penalties and arrears of wages could have on the stability and long-term viability of providers.

The government has committed to:

  • Waive historic financial penalties owed by employers who have underpaid their workers for overnight sleep-in shifts before 26 July 2017.
  • Temporarily suspend HMRC enforcement activity concerning payment of sleep-in shifts by social care providers until 2 October 2017.

The measures announced today are intended to minimise disruption to the sector by recognising these unique pressures, and ensuring that workers receive wages they are owed.

The government remains equally committed to making sure people who are working in the social care sector receive the minimum wage they are legally entitled to, including historic arrears.

The government will continue to look at this issue extremely carefully alongside industry representatives to see whether any further support is needed and will ensure that action taken to protect workers is fair and proportionate, while seeing how it might be possible to minimise any impact on social care provision.

The government reaffirmed its expectation that all employers pay their workers according to the law, including for sleep-in shifts, as set out in the guidance, ‘Calculating the National Minimum Wage’.

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