In May 2020, the Government set up the Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund. Its purpose is to support adult social care providers – including those with whom the local authority does not have a contract – to reduce the rate of Covid-19 transmission within and between care settings, in particular by helping to reduce the need for staff movements between sites.
The Government considered the fund to have been successful in limiting the spread of Coronavirus within and between care settings and so has extended the scheme until March 2021 – with an extra £546 million of funding. This is a new grant, with revised conditions from the original Infection Control Fund.
All funding must be used for Covid infection control measures, however, this covers a broad range of expenditure. At esphr, we are encouraging employers to look into ways they could potentially utilise this fund during difficult times. Below are just some examples of measures included within the scope of the grant.
An employee works two jobs – one for a care home and the other in a supermarket. The risk to care home residents would be significant if the employee was to also continue working in the supermarket during the pandemic.
The employee would therefore need to stop working in the supermarket to continue working in the care home. If the care home cannot replace the hours, they can fully refund the employee for the hours they lose having given up their supermarket role. This money can be reclaimed from the fund.
An employee has Covid-19 symptoms and therefore needs to self-isolate whilst they await a test, or a member of their household has symptoms and are awaiting a test. The employee can be absent from work on full pay during this time and the cost of their wages can be reclaimed by the fund, even if the test comes back negative.
An employee who has tested positive for Covid can be absent from work, on full pay, and the cost of their wages can be recovered via the fund for a period of at least 10 days following a positive test result.
The above provides just a snapshot of the potential uses for this fund. The Government has also produced a non-exhaustive list of examples covering ways in which providers can spend funding as part of their allocation. This is available at www.gov.uk alongside details of providers’ reporting requirements to receive payments under the fund.
Alternatively, if you have any queries on specific situations, please contact us to discuss your options in more detail.
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