National Minimum Wage: sleep-in care: (Bulletin Number CBP 8243)

House of Commons Library, March 2018

In April 2017 the Employment Appeal Tribunal handed down judgment in Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson-Blake, providing further guidance on whether employees who undertake sleep-in duties are entitled the National Minimum Wage (NMW) for the time during which they are sleeping. The Tribunal held that, in some cases, carers who are required to be present throughout the night will be entitled to the NMW whether awake or asleep. While this proposition had been established by case law prior to the Mencap case, government guidance had not explained this clearly.

Social care providers have expressed concerns about their ability to meet the requirement to pay carers the NMW during sleep-in shifts. Moreover, many such providers may be exposed to claims for backdated pay.  To obtain backdated wages if underpaid, an employee could take a claim to the employment tribunal or the country court. In addition, the State enforces the NMW. If an employer has breached NMW law, HMRC may take enforcement action.

Following the Mencap decision and the realisation that government guidance had been “potentially misleading”, the Government has set up the Social Care Compliance Scheme and temporarily modified its policy on enforcing the NMW in the social care sector.

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Honoring the voices of bereaved caregivers: a Metasummary of qualitative research

BMC Palliative Care, September 2017

Family caregiving in the context of advanced disease in particular, can be physically and emotionally taxing. Caregivers can subsequently face bereavement exhausted with few supports, limited resources and a significant proportion will develop negative psychological and social outcomes. Although some research has attended to the bereavement experiences of family caregivers who had cared for a person requiring palliative care, a comprehensive qualitative understanding of the impact of caregiving on bereavement has not been articulated. The purpose of this study was to conduct a qualitative metasummary to explore the experiences of bereaved family caregivers of people who received palliative care services, regardless of their underlying disease.

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State of Caring 2017

Carers UK, July 2017

This report finds that 4 in 10 (40%) of unpaid carers have not had a break in over one year, whilst one in four (25%) had not received a single day away from caring in five years.  The report finds that carers most frequently listed access to breaks as one of three factors which could make a difference in their lives (42%).  Carers who had not had a break in a year or more reported a deterioration in their health, both mentally (73%) and physically (65%).

Click here to read the full report.

Carer’s Allowance and the Retirement Pension

House of Commons Library, June 2017

Carer’s Allowance cannot be paid in addition to the Retirement Pension because of the “overlapping benefits” rule. This Commons Library briefing looks at the rationale for this rule, and at the position of successive governments on payment of Carer’s Allowance to people over State Pension Age.

Click here to view the briefing.

Caring by design

Timewise, June 2017

This report sets out a series of recommendations for industry, care providers and policymakers to help solve the social care system’s recruitment and retention crisis. The report argues that more flexible job design, rather than just a skills solution, is needed in order to improve the quality of care and provide a cost-efficient solution for employers who are significantly reducing the cost of staff turnover.

Click here to view the report.

Patient safety in community dementia services: what can we learn from the experiences of caregivers and healthcare professionals?

Age and Ageing (2017) 46 (3): 518-521

This study aims to explore how patient safety in community dementia services is understood by caregivers, and healthcare professionals.

Click here to view the abstract for this paper.

Click here to email the Library and request this paper.