To further support our recipients in both Scotland and Northern Ireland we are applying our award policies more flexibly during this difficult time and have summarised some of the changes below.
With effect from the 1st March and for a 4 month period initially,
ILF Scotland can continue to pay all awards in full to allow recipients/award managers to continue to pay their PAs and care providers in full.
Where a recipient wishes to self-isolate and has asked their PA or care provider not to provide support to them in their home, they can, if they wish, retain their PA or care provider and continue to pay them in full. They can ask their PA or care provider to support them in other ways, for example, to collect prescriptions, do their shopping, etc. Recipients can, at this time, use their ILF Scotland awards in flexible ways to meet their independent living outcomes.
Where their PA is self-isolating or shielding, or where the care provider is not able to provide a full service, the recipient can, if they wish, retain the PA or care provider and continue to pay them in full.
If a recipient’s PA is self-employed, ILF Scotland can consider the same arrangement as for a directly employed PA above, subject to satisfactory evidence that the existing self-employment status is recognised by HMRC.
ILF Scotland will continue to pay the award in full to allow this, unless the recipient clearly asks us to suspend or reduce the award.
ILF Scotland can also agree to pay additional, reasonable, costs for replacement care for a temporary period, including to family members.
If ILF recipients need to purchase alternative support because their PA or care provider cannot provide this, they can do so from another agency or PA and fund this from contingency / unspent monies (ILF Scotland has lifted the 7-day limit on unspent monies at this time). If sufficient funds are not available, ILF Scotland can consider, on a case-by-case basis, funding the cost of replacement care from 1st March 2020 until the end of June 2020 initially, with the option of extending this further if required.
ILF Scotland expects recipients to pay PAs the Scottish Living Wage rate of £9.30 from 1st April 2020 (£9.00 prior to that).
With prior agreement from ILF Scotland, recipients can also employ a friend or family member (including those living in the same household if this is the only option and subject to discussion with an ILF Scotland Assessor). These arrangements will be on a temporary basis only to replace the support that ILF Scotland currently pays for and existing support arrangements should be reinstated as soon as possible and ILF Scotland advised of this. The recipient must place the new person recruited to provide the temporary support on payroll to comply with HMRC.
These policies are relevant to all recipients, in both Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The Scottish Government has now issued guidance and advice for PAs who are requiring Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). More information about this can be found here. PAs can also contact the NHS National Services Scotland Social Care PPE Support Centre on 0300 303 3020.