Workforce and coronavirus
Information on: guidance for employers and care workers; managing sick leave; recruitment; free services and grants for care staff; and remote working.
The campaign is ongoing – with a public clap for carers and everyone providing support, every Thursday at 8pm. #clapforourcarers
Guidance for employers and care workers§
The Home Office is extending the offer of indefinite leave to remain, free of charge, to the families and dependants of all NHS support staff and social care workers who die as result of contracting coronavirus. The offer of indefinite leave to remain will be effective immediately and retrospectively.
Government guidance on how local authorities and social care providers can tell DHSC about the death of an employee or volunteer in social care.
A new app from Department of Health and Social care to enable care workers to get information and advice in one digital hub, swap learning and ideas with colleagues across the country and access practical resources on looking after their own health and well-being.
The government guidance on residential care, supported living, and home care includes information on supporting your workforce.
General guidance for all employers including encouraging working from home, protecting vulnerable employees and supporting infection prevention and control at work.
Free visa extensions will be automatically granted to more crucial overseas health and care workers. The extension comes into effect immediately and is for all visas expiring between 31 March and 1 October 2020. Those benefitting from this extension will be identified by health and care employers across the UK.
There are two routes through which your staff can be tested. Employers should either:
- use the online employer portal to upload details of those they know are self-isolating. In order to obtain a login, employers of essential workers should email email@example.com with two email addresses that will primarily be used to load frontline worker contact details.
- increase awareness of the employee portal amongst staff so that they can book a test directly for themselves or members of their household if they become symptomatic and are self-isolating. They can book a test through the self-referral service.
Mobile testing units, operated by the Armed Forces, will travel around the UK to increase access to coronavirus testing for frontline workers including care workers. Units will respond to areas of highest demand, travelling to test frontline workers and the most vulnerable at sites including care homes.
Advice on involving and managing volunteers during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Skills for Care is hosting a series of webinars for registered managers. The first three in the series cover Essential training, Human Resources in the time of COVID-19 and Attracting workers. More webinars to follow.
A series of webinars from NCVO including:
- Governing during a pandemic: What are key things trustees need to be focused on? - 30 April, 15.00
- Involving volunteers during the pandemic: What you need to know - 5 May, 10.00
- How to involve and safeguard your volunteers during coronavirus - 14 May, 14.00
- Making decisions in tough times - 11 June, 14.00
A series of six training webinars on safeguarding during the coronavirus outbreak. To be held every Wednesday 1-2pm, from 6 May to 10 June.
Government has announced that the families of health and care workers on the frontline in England will benefit from a new life assurance scheme during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Skills for Care has identified priority training, and fully funded virtual training, delivered by endorsed providers for adult social care employers.
This framework intends to provide support to ongoing response planning and decision-making to ensure that ample consideration is given to a series of ethical values and principles when organising and delivering social care for adults.
Digital Social Care is e-sharing information on how technology can be used to support care staff and the people who use services.
Information and resources to support their understanding of and management of COVID-19.
Coronavirus social work advice, BASW updates and information.
Information for people who are caring, unpaid, for friends or family during the coronavirus outbreak.
The letter thanks the social care workforce for their help on coronavirus (COVID-19) so far.
Sick leave and pay§
Guidance for local authority commissioner on alleviating pressures on care providers, including in relation to sick pay, backfill payments, workforce availability, DBS checks and deployment across different care setting.
Those who follow advice to stay at home and who cannot work as a result will be eligible for statutory sick pay (SSP), even if they are not themselves sick.
Small- and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay.
Recruitment, DBS checks and volunteers§
The government has launched a new national adult social care recruitment campaign to boost the adult social care workforce in England as part of a wider plan to attract more staff into the sector. The campaign aims to encourage the right people with the right values and attributes to consider a paid career in adult social care work.
Skills for Care is the primary point of contact for employers who need to access deployed registered nurses in social care. They are not responsible for deploying nurses - those decisions are being made by seven regional hubs. Skills for Care’s role is to ensure that social care is included in this decision-making process.
DBS has confirmed that recruitment for backfilling roles is included within special arrangements for DBS checks during COVID-19 outbreak, as per the amended regulations. See Para 7.1 in the Explanatory memorandum. DBS are stressing this to their registered bodies and will be updating their guidance FAQs.
Guidance on coronavirus for people who employ their own personal assistants and carers directly.
Free support, grants and benefits§
This letter from CPA and Uber explains the new Uber service to provide all care providers with a 25% discount on their staff's trips for 12 weeks. From 29 April, Uber Medic allows care organisations to benefit from:
- 25% off every ride until 29 July 2020 - only the driver receives payment for these trips. Uber will not make any money on these rides.
- Access to an online booking portal.
- A safe, reliable and efficient way to get staff to and from work. Drivers consent to wear masks, gloves and sanitise their car after every trip.
- Drivers are able to pick up from/to hospitals, however, currently can't go to testing centres.
Mobile phone company Vodafone is offering six months free unlimited data to health and care workers. Complete the online for to register.
Sleepio is a highly personalised, digital sleep improvement programme based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), that gets to the root of stubborn poor sleep. Sleepio users interact with The Prof, their own virtual sleep expert, who teaches them evidence-based skills via 6 weekly video sessions. There are also tools to help manage any worries and thoughts that make it difficult to sleep and ways to improve your environment and habits for better sleep. Sleepio is backed by clinical evidence, including 12 published RCTs and 37 published papers.
For technical issues, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Daylight is an app that will teach you ways to manage worry and anxiety in your life. Through techniques based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), Daylight offers audio-led guidance tailored to your own problematic thoughts, behaviours, and responses to worry and anxiety. The programme gives you a range of techniques and guides you through daily practice sessions. Access Daylight here.
For technical issues contact email@example.com
The government has announced that Working Tax Credits payments will be increased from 6 April 2020.
Claim a grant through the coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme. Use this scheme if you're self-employed or a member of a partnership and have lost income due to coronavirus.
From 30 March 2020, MOT due dates for cars, motorcycles and light vans will be extended by 6 months. This is being done to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Home Serve UK is offering free repairs to NHS and social care workers during lockdown.
Tel 0330 0247 222
Every child who can be safely cared for at home should be. But children with at least one parent or carer who are identified as critical workers (inc social care) can still go to school if required.
For some staff at care services, it may be possible to continue working at home while in self-isolation. There are free software packages that can help maintain open communications with staff. These include:
- Slack is essentially a chat room for your whole company, designed to replace email as your primary method of communication and sharing.
- Zoom Basic allows your company to host a conference with up to 100 participants for up to 40 minutes on group meetings. One-on-one meetings, on the other hand, are free with Zoom Basic, and you can host an unlimited number of total meetings without paying a thing.
- Chrome Remote Desktop can be quickly installed as an extension for the Chrome web browser. Users can create a PIN to allow other PCs to log in, though you will need a Google account. It's very easy to use, and best of all it's free, so you can give it a try to see if it's right for you.
- Zoho Assists diverse selection of software plans and features make it an excellent option for small businesses to remotely access and support their devices.
- Office 365 Part of Office 365, Teams' free version supports up to 300 participants and offers guest access, one-on-one, and group video and audio calls, as well as file and screen sharing, and online document collaboration. And for businesses requiring more services, Microsoft too has responded to the current epidemic by offering a free six-month trial of the paid version, including full meetings, collaboration and workflow capabilities.
See Digital Social Care for more information on using technology.
See all related information on coronavirus.