UKHCA minimum price for homecare

January 23, 2019

The United Kingdom Homecare Association has published its minimum price for homecare services for 2019.

The publication aims to inform people of the various minimum costs that homecare providers face and offers a suggestion of a minimum hourly rate which should be paid.

The rate that UKHCA is proposing as the minimum price for homecare is £18.93 per hour from April 2019. The Association says that this allows full compliance with the National Minimum Wage and the delivery of sustainable homecare services to local authorities and the NHS.

The calculations in the latest version of Minimum Price for Homecare have been updated to account for increases in the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage, and the second planned increase in minimum pension contributions. The report also uses new assumptions for care workers’ travel time and mileage costs.

Equivalent calculations have also been made for the voluntary UK Living Wage, the Scottish Living Wage and the London Living Wage between November 2018 and October 2019 as per below:

  • UK Living Wage: £20.75 p/h
  • Scottish Living Wage: £20.75 p/h
  • London Living Wage: £23.97 p/h

UKHCA Policy Director, Colin Angel, said, 'It is essential that a viable regulated homecare sector is available to support the care of older and disabled people who choose to remain at home.

'The prices councils pay for care must cover the costs of the workforce, including – as a minimum – full-compliance with statutory minimum wage levels and the costs of running a regulated care service. UKHCA’s Minimum Price for Homecare provides a thorough rationale for the costs of state-funded care and is highlighted in Government’s Care and Support Statutory Guidance (for England) as an approach which can be adopted by councils.'

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Stephen Harris
Stephen Harris

Although it has been repeatedly shown that the true cost of care is greater than what the local authorities will pay or can pay, the fact remains that providers are left fighting a losing battle when trying to negotiate a reasonable fee from the local authority. The most common tactic seem to be to use benchmarking with other local authorities who are usually paying below the recommended level anyway. I hope the awaited green paper will provide some succour to a depressed sector.

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