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Warwickshire

COVID Vaccinations for PA's

Published on 29th January 2021

Following the Issuing of National Government guidance on COVID vaccinations Warwickshire County Council has been developing the local response to enable Personal Assistants who are classed in the category of health and social care workers to have access to vaccinations.

We can now confirm the process for your Personal Assistants to access a Covid-19 vaccination in Warwickshire.

If your Personal Assistant receives Payroll from The Rowan Organisation, they will shortly be receiving a letter outlining how they can book their vaccination appointment. If your PA does not receive support from the Rowan service, please can you ask your Personal Assistant to contact the Independent Living Team (ILT), Warwickshire to find out how to book.

When your PA goes to their vaccination appointment, they are required to bring their key worker letter, this will need to be signed by an authorised person or you as their employer. If required, it can be accessed via the following link :- https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/social-care-health/direct-payments/13?documentId=581&categoryId=20077 or you can download the attached document by clicking HERE.

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Guidance for Social Care staff and Customers who have a Direct Payment and COVID-19

Direct Payment Support Service

Warwickshire County Council has a contract in place with Penderels Trust who provide employment related advice and guidance. Please visit their website for information based on their frequently asked questions and guidance about how you can be prepared as a Direct Payment employer during this time.

We strongly advise you continue to contact Penderels to address your employer related queries - e-mail HERE.

Direct Payment Employer Liability Insurance

If you are a Direct Payment Employer, you must have employer’s liability insurance in place. It is still important at this time you still follow the guidance given by them. Please contact your chosen insurance company for their advice.

Pre-paid cards: Pre-Financial Services

Many of you now have a prepayment card in place - we will continue to make payments to the card.

The government has published new adult social care guidance to protect the most vulnerable against COVID-19. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-adult-social-care-guidance-to-protect-the-most-vulnerable-against-covid-19

Where a customer has a Personal Assistant that they are directly employing, DP employers may find it helpful to refer to the guidance that has been issued to social care providers to support them in understanding their responsibilities and the responsibilities of their PAs https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-residential-care-supported-living-and-home-care-guidance/covid-19-guidance-on-home-care-provision

DP employers should also refer to the Government Guidance for Employers to support them to understand their responsibilities in relation to pay of PAs

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19

Specifically, in relation to the employment of Personal Assistants:

If, under government guidance, a PA is required to self-isolate – the government guidance states how long this should be for; https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

If a customer is using their Direct Payment to employ a carer via an agency arrangement, the agency will have contingency arrangements in place to provide care. If the DP customer has any concerns regarding the contingency arrangements in place, they should contact the care agency.

Direct Payment recipients who employ their own staff should have plans in place to provide contingency arrangements if their PA is not available. DP customers should refer to these arrangements in the first instance. It is recognised that for many customers their contingency arrangements may include using informal carers, family or friends to support them in the short term.

Where contingency arrangements cannot be accessed (due to staff sickness or self-isolation), the DP customer should contact Adult Social Care to discuss how their care needs can be met (please call 01926 410410). If there are no other means of providing care, Warwickshire County Council Adult Social Care will provide a commissioned service; Adult Social Care will only commission care that is essential i.e. personal care, toileting, and meal provision; Support to access the local community/social inclusion will not be provided. The Direct Payment will continue to be paid to enable the DP employer to fulfil any employer responsibilities.

The DP recipient needs to consider whether the PA would be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay in the first instance.

If the PA earns above the Lower Earnings Limit (currently £9,500 per annum) then statutory sick pay would apply from day one. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/rates-and-thresholds-for-employers-2020-to-2021#statutory-sick-pay-ssp

The Statutory Sick Pay (General) (Coronavirus Amendment) Regulations 2020 came into force on Friday 13th March. Statutory Sick Pay will now be payable to those self-isolating under Government guidance – there is no need for formal written notice to be given by a medical officer. Definition of 'Persons deemed incapable of work' now includes:

  1. isolating himself from other people in such a manner as to prevent infection or contamination with coronavirus disease, in accordance with guidance published by Public Health England, NHS National Services Scotland(d) or Public Health Wales(e) and effective on 12th March 2020; and
  2. by reason of that isolation is unable to work.

NOTE this amendment is set to automatically expire 8 months from the enforcement date unless it is removed by statute.

The Government has also issued guidance on furloughed workers:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses#support-for-businesses-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

Employers may choose to access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme; in which case they will discuss with their PAs becoming classified as a furloughed worker. This would mean that employees are kept on the employer’s payroll, rather than being laid off.

To qualify for this scheme, employees should not undertake work for you while they are furloughed. This will allow the employer to claim a grant of up to 80% of the employee’s wage for all employment costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

Employees will remain employed while furloughed (in line with Government guidance). After exploring this option if an employer finds they have insufficient funds to pay for the PA WCC will fund the additional contingency required.

Please access the links above for updated/further information and discuss options with Penderels in relation to your PAs.

If a PA would not be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay or the Coronavirus Retention Scheme but cannot work due to Government guidelines, the following would apply:

  • If a DP recipient needs to use contingency arrangements whilst a PA or themselves are self-isolating, there would be enough funds within the DP to cover pay for the PA and contingency for up to four weeks. If the PA or DP recipient is required to self-isolate longer than initial Government guidance (i.e. those classed as vulnerable) this would need to be reviewed by WCC.
  • If Adult Social Care provide a commissioned service due to contingency arrangements being unavailable, this would be paid for by WCC and not by the DP recipient. DP would be used to pay employee for initial isolation period (up to four weeks) – after this WCC would need to review.
  • If the Personal Assistant self-isolates through choice, when current guidance does not require it, they will not be entitled to pay or sick pay; they can take annual leave if agreed or unpaid leave.
  • However, if a DP recipient requests that a PA self-isolates outside Government guidelines, they would be required to pay the PA and if a contingency is put in place the DP recipient themselves would be liable for contingency costs.
  • If a Personal assistant is abroad and cannot return because their borders are locked down as a result of Corona Virus restrictions, the Personal Assistant would not be paid as they have not attended for work. If a DP employer is happy to extend the Personal Assistant’s annual leave, then this could be an option.

Personal Protective Equipment

The on-going treatment of the COVID-19 pandemic is leading to unprecedented levels of demand on the supply of Personal Protective Equipment across the whole world.

In order to ensure efficient management of the limited supplies a single co-ordinated approach has been developed by Warwickshire County Council, ensuring those that most need PPE most are prioritised.

This process will replace all existing processes previously used by the council departments and this approach will be implemented across the county council operations, schools, providers, volunteers and personal assistants.

From today: If you need PPE Please E-mail cv19PPE@warwickshire.gov.uk, including the following information:
  • What PPE is required
  • How many customers will you need to use PPE for? Please see below instructions on what PPE should be worn in what situation. We will only be issuing PPE in line with this guidance.
  • How often you will be interacting with that customer over the next seven days.

We will then arrange supply, based on the agreed prioritisation process.

For your information here is the guidance on what PPE to wear when visiting self-isolating customers – please note there are different versions depending on if you are giving personal care or not.

With no personal care: https://apps.warwickshire.gov.uk/api/documents/WCCC-1130-310

With personal care or physical interaction: https://apps.warwickshire.gov.uk/api/documents/WCCC-1130-309

Alongside any arrangements made due to COVID-19 Warwickshire County Council will follow standard audit processes on DP monitoring.

The following Support Organisations are contraced by Warwicshire County Council to provide Direct Payments Support...

Payroll and Managed Accounts

The Rowan Organisation

Phone:- 02476 322860

E-mail:- info@therowan.org

www.therowan.org

Employment Support

Penderels Trust

Phone:- 02476 511611

E-mail:- enquiries@penderelstrust.org.uk

www.penderelstrust.org.uk

Warwickshire County Council

www.warwickshire.gov.uk

Telephone: 01926 410410
Monday to Friday – 8:00am to 6:30pm
Saturday – 9:00am to 1:00pm
Shire Hall, Warwick
CV34 4RL

Click here to go to go to our vacancies page.

The following templates are available to download and use...

Area

Filename

Description

Updated

Timesheets Weekly Timesheet A weekly timesheet for keeping track of PA hours. June 2018
Timesheets Fortnightly Timesheet A fortnightly timesheet in for keeping track of PA hours. June 2018
Timesheets Four weekly Timesheet A four weekly timesheet in for keeping track of PA hours. June 2018
Timesheets Monthly Timesheet A monthly timesheet in for keeping track of PA hours. June 2018
Mileage & Expenses Mileage & Expenses claim form A template for completing mileage and expenses claims. June 2018
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