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Skills for Care information for Individual Employers

Funding for PHB holders now available

“Skills for Care funding really has given me the ability to lead an independent life” says Sharon Taylor-Brown who applied for funding to pay for her PAs to attend training as part of the Care Certificate.

As a result of the training, Sharon’s PAs feel more confident in their role and ultimately are able to provide better care and support.

If you use your personal health budget (PHB) to employ your own personal assistants (PAs) or carers, you can apply for money to pay for training.
 

The training could be for yourself to make you a better employer, or to develop the skills of your PAs. It can cover any related costs, including backfill and travel expenses. Every application is reviewed on a case by case basis and there are lots of courses you could apply for. Find out more and apply now.

If you work with PHB holders, help us spread the word using this leaflet or email us for paper copies.

If you use a direct payment to employ PAs, or are a self-funder, you can apply too.


Sponsor the best individual employer Accolades category
The Accolades awards celebrate excellence in adult social care, and the ‘Best individual who employs their own care and support staff’ category recognises the achievements of individual employers.

There are sponsorship opportunities available for you to be part of this recognition and help us celebrate best practice.

The awards continue to attract high calibre entrants, which are judged by the sectors top leaders, commentators and academics. They’re also endorsed by the sector’s leading trade and professional bodies, so it’s a great opportunity to raise your profile and promote your business in the run up to the gala event, during the event itself and following it, as the winners stories are showcased through ongoing PR.

There are different sponsorship packages available - email us to find out more.


Right to work checks
All individual employers must check that their PA has a right to work in the UK, before they employ them. This includes checking the details for a PA that is working in the UK on a time-limited visa.

If you do not carry out these checks, you could be subject to severe penalties if it’s found that you’re employing illegal workers. To help you, there’s a simple three step check you can do to make sure you’re carrying out the right to work checks. If you need support with checking that documents are genuine, you can contact the Home Office directly.

For further information, including a link to the three step check and an Employer’s Guide to Right to Work Checks from the Home Office, go to the ‘Recruiting a personal assistant’ section of the ‘Information for individual employers’ page on the information hub.


Roll up your sleeves and get your flu jab this season
Flu can be a serious illness so it’s important that PAs protect themselves and those accessing care and support against flu.

We’re urging all social care employers, including individual employers, to ensure their staff are vaccinated. With many local pharmacies and supermarkets offering flu vaccinations, the process can be easy and done at a low cost.

Read more about how you can provide flu vaccinations for your staff here.


New sleep-in shift pay compliance scheme launched
Social care employers, including individual employers, will be able to opt into the new Social Care Compliance Scheme (SCCS), giving them up to a year to identify what they owe to workers, supported by advice from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Employers who identify arrears at the end of the self-review period will have up to three months to pay workers.

Click here for the Government announcement. Further details of the Social Care Compliance Scheme, including eligibility criteria and the process for opting-in to the scheme, can be found on this guidance page.


Update from The Pensions Regulator and automatic enrolment
Under the Pensions Act 2008, every employer in the UK must put certain staff into a pension scheme and contribute towards it. This is called 'automatic enrolment'. If you employ at least one person you’re an employer and you have certain legal duties.

All new employers have immediate pension duties
From 01 October, if you’re a new employer (you’ve employed a PA for the first time) your automatic enrolment duties start immediately and you must act to ensure you carry out your legal duties. For more information, go to The Pensions Regulator.

Employer and PA contributions are increasing
The payments both employers and PAs make to their workplace pensions will be increasing from 06 April 2018. Currently a total minimum contribution into an automatic enrolment pension is 2% (minimum of 1% from the employer), but this will increase to 5% (minimum of 2% from the employer) and then after 06 April 2019 to 8% (minimum 3% from the employer).

Employers warned not to fall for automatic enrolment exemption scams
The Pensions Regulator is warning employers not to fall for a scam involving the sale of fake certificates that suggest they don’t have workplace pension duties, after they discovered that at least one company is selling what it describes as 'Certificates of Auto Enrolment Exemption'.

A number of employers have been persuaded to pay for the documents, with the scammers claiming the paperwork means that the holders do not have any workplace pension duties. While employers have been charged £58 for the certificates, the documents are worthless. Employers can use the Duties Checker to quickly understand exactly what they must do.

Anyone who’s offered the chance to buy a certificate of exemption or any similar sounding document is being urged to decline and contact The Pensions Regulator immediately.

Automatic Enrolment (AE) User Panel – 22 November, London
The AE User Panel is an opportunity for a group of employers and business advisors to meet with members of The Pension Regulator to discuss AE and ideas for change and improvement of services. It’s also a chance to get key updates from the regulator which may assist with planning and execution of AE or re-enrolment and an opportunity to communicate your experiences and translate those into service changes for others.

If you would like to attend, please contact AEEmployerDesign@thepensionsregulator.gsi.gov.uk for more information.


Apprenticeship frameworks close at the end of December
The current apprenticeship frameworks will close on the 29 December 2017.

If you want to recruit a new apprentice after this date, you’ll need to use the new and improved standards.

The new standards are two-page documents listing the skills, knowledge and behaviours needed for the apprentice to be competent in their role.

Read more about the new standards here - scroll down the page to the ‘social care standards’ section.



 Updates to the information hub 

Meet the PA framework steering group

Our steering group is made up of experts from a range of background, who meet every quarter to ensure our work is both relevant and fit for purpose.

Each month we’ll introduce you to a member of the steering group and keep you up to date with what we’ve been talking about.

Last month we met Andy Walker, who is an individual employer himself and runs a consultancy business called Living Your Dream Consultancy. His own experience of employing PAs helps him to motivate others to reach their potential.
 

About joining the steering group he told us:
“It gives me an opportunity to use the journey I’ve been on to contribute to resources and wider activity.”

You can read his full blog here.

The latest update from the last meeting included discussions about:

  • a career framework for PAs
  • pay for sleep-ins and the impact on individual employers
  • right to work checks for PAs.

Communicating with those with dementia
The Alzheimer’s Society have, together with Cardiff University and Sir Tony Robinson, produced a 16-minute-long video explaining how to best communicate with someone who has dementia.

Communication is one of the core skills all PAs need. Watch the video here.
 

LGBTQI+ Disabled people – new resources from SCIE
LGBTQI+ disabled people say there are many benefits to using self-directed support, such as having more choice and control over their care. But there are also challenges.

New resources from Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), the University of Bristol, Regard and Stonewall, highlight, for the first time, some of the issues. The resources include short films and briefings providing advice and information for LGBTQI+ disabled people, as well as PAs and support workers. Download them here.
 



 Events 


Skills for Care events for support organisations: supporting individual employers

  • Wednesday 07 February, York
  • Wednesday 07 February, Cambirdge
  • Thursday 01 March, Durham
  • Tuesday 20 March, Egbaston
  • Thursday 22 March, Nottingham Forest FC
  • More dates and venues TBC – keep an eye on our website

We’re running a series of events for individuals and organisations who support individual employers and PAs.

Each event will be tailored to your local area, but they might cover learning and development, recruitment and retention and local initiatives to support individual employers.

Find out more and book your place.
 

Get yourself active learning events
Disability Rights UK and partners are holding a series of events across the country to share the learning from the Get Yourself Active (GYA) project.

Find out more and book your place.
 

HMRC and ACAS: Managing sick leave and pay for employers

  • Th‌ur‌sd‌ay 2‌3 No‌ve‌mb‌er, 11.00 - 12.00
  • Thursday 2‌3 No‌ve‌mb‌er, 13.00 - 14.00

Do you have questions about Statutory Sick Pay or managing sick leave? These free webinars, hosted jointly by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service), can help answer them. 

Click here to book your place.



 

 Get involved

Wanted – your experiences with voting
The Cabinet Office is asking for views on how people with disabilities experience registering to vote and voting itself. Responses to the call for evidence will:

  • enhance the government’s understanding of the experiences of disabled people in registering to vote and casting their vote
  • help identify if current mechanisms to support disabled people to participate in the democratic process are sufficient; and
  • identify examples of good practice provided by Electoral Service Teams to disabled people at elections.

You can find out more on the Gov.uk website. The consultation closes at 17:00 on 14 November 2017.

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