If your PA was unable to work for you between 23rd March 2020 and 31st October 2020 due to being asked to shield by the Scottish Government then you may be able to apply to the new Social Care Staff Support Fund (Coronavirus) – shielding workers scheme.
During the first lockdown, when people were asked to shield, PAs who were shielding and could not work were entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if they qualified. Therefore some shielding PAs received SSP and others, mostly part-time PAs, would not have received any payment.
The Social Care Staff Support Fund now allows for you, as a PA employer, to claim back money in order to pay PAs who were shielding between 23rd March 2020 and 31st October 2020 up to 80% of their salary or, if they were receiving SSP, 80% minus their SSP payments.
The Fund opened on 12th January 2021 and applications will close on 24th February 2021.
Full details, including the application form can be found here: https://www.inspiringscotland.org.uk/social-care-staff-support-fund/
Can I claim from the Fund on behalf of my PA?
In order to apply to the Fund, your PA must have been shielding between 23rd March 2020 and 31st October 2020.
They must be able to provide evidence that they were told to shield by the Scottish Government. If they were not told to shield but chose not to work due to health concerns, you cannot apply to the Fund on their behalf.
They will have been provided with a letter to this effect last year or in January 2021 when new advice to those in the shielding group were announced.
What do I do next?
In order to make a claim to the Fund, you will need to complete an online application form. You will also need to, as part of this process, use an online Claim Calculator. As this involves some potentially complex financial calculations, your payroll provider may be able to assist you with this.
If you use LCiL payroll, please contact our mainline on 0131 475 2350 for advice and support to make a claim. Please make it clear when you call that this is related to the shielding workers scheme.
If you use another payroll provider, please contact them directly.
When will payments me made?
If your application to the fund is successful you will be informed by 5th March 2021 and payments will be made in time for you to make the payment(s) to your PA(s) prior to 5th April 2021, the end of the current financial year.
My PA has been told to shield again this year. What do I do?
If your PA has been contacted again by the Scottish Government and told to shield then you can apply to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme so that you can furlough the shielding PA and pay claim back up to 80% of their wages from the Scheme.
More details on the Scheme are available here:
You should also contact your payroll provider who can assist you with the process.
Who can I contact for more information?
There are links to more information on the Social Care Staff Support Fund (Coronavirus) – shielding workers scheme and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme above.
If you are an LCiL payroll service user you should contact us for advice and support to make a claim on 0131 475 2350. Please make it clear when calling that this is related to the shielding workers scheme.
If you have more general questions about eligibility for the Fund please contact the Independent Living Team via ILTeam@lothiancil.org.uk