Scotland’s social care workers are to receive enhanced sick pay. The extra funding announced by the Scottish Government also covers death in service payments. A one off payment of £60,000 would be paid to the named survivor.
The trade union Unite has welcomed the extra support for social care workers who have been vital in the response to the Covid19 pandemic.
Pat Rafferty, Unite Scottish secretary, said:
“The announcement by the Scottish Government that there is to be a one-off payment to a named survivor of social care staff in the tragic circumstances when someone dies is the right thing to do.
“It’s an acknowledgement of the sacrifice of our brave care workers who are literally putting their lives on the line to save and protect others.”
“Unite has also been arguing for greater financial protection for care home workers above the statutory minimum.
“No care worker who is ill due to the virus and the associated mental health pressures should have to confront any loss of pay.
“We welcome the progress that has been made in these areas because we need to ensure that no care home worker or the loved ones of those who pass away due to the virus have to worry about financial worries under any circumstances.”
The additional funding from the Scottish Government was announced by Health Secretary Jeane Freeman. In Scotland there is a mixture of locally authority run social care, private social care and Third sector providers. The Covid19 pandemic has highlighted what is working and what is not working about integrated health and care in Scotland. This is one aspect of the response to the pandemic which will be subject to review and changes in the future.
Jeane Freeman said:
“Social Care staff provide a critical and valuable service, never more apparent than during this emergency period.”
She continued: “While some employers offer employment contracts closer to the Scottish Government’s fair work principles, it is clear that others do not.
“In recognition of the current exceptional circumstances and in order to ensure that social care workers are given the urgent support they deserve, we will develop a Scottish Government funded scheme for care workers in respect of sick pay and death in service benefits.
“These fair work issues and how they are realised in commissioning contracts will require to be addressed but, in the current circumstances, my focus now is on fairness for the care workers affected.
“We will continue to work with local government, social care providers and trades unions on further details of the plans over the course of next week.”