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MPs now calling for bailout after sleep-in ruling

Blog Post 14 November 2017

Conservative MPs are calling for a government bailout for social care after warnings that some providers will go bust, the result of a crisis over a £400m bill for back pay.

The crisis arose after a court ruling on sleep-in shifts pay. The decision has had serious consequences for the industry, as the minimum wage must now be paid, rather than the previous flat-rate £30.

It means some providers face bills for back pay covering up to six years, with many saying they will simply fold without a bailout.

After months of delay, the government announced a scheme that would give providers 15 months to calculate the amount they think they owe their workers. But there is no guarantee the state purse would help them pay.

Councils and charities have criticised the “concessions” as inadequate.

And this month (November) some Tory MPs are demanding action in the Chancellor’s budget on November 22.

Sarah Wollaston, chairwoman of the health select committee, was reported in The Guardian as saying: “Unless there is government funding for the back-pay bill, many providers will go to the wall, and there is also a huge issue here for those individuals who receive direct payments. I hope this will be addressed in the budget.”

Peter Aldous, Tory MP for Waveney, was also not happy and was reported as saying ministers had “not addressed the problem.”

Kevin Hollinrake, Tory MP for Thirsk and Malton, also made the news with his “. . .this needs resolving” comment.

Estimates put the back pay figure £400m.

Irony of ironies, I read that ministers are checking EU state aid rules to determine whether any support, if deemed necessary, would be allowed. Brexit: What!

I’ll be tuning into Philip Hammond’s budget and no doubt plenty of West Midland Care Association providers and those they serve will be doing

Debbie Le Quesne - CEO West Midlands Care Association