Ministers have worked closely with the sector in response to concerns over the combined impact which financial penalties and arrears of wages could have on the stability and long-term viability of providers.
The exceptional measures announced today are intended to minimise disruption to the sector by recognising these unique pressures, and ensuring that workers receive wages they are owed.
Social care providers play a vital role in supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our society and workers in that sector should be paid fairly for the important work they do. The government remains equally committed to making sure workers in this sector receive the minimum wage they are legally entitled to, including historic arrears.
The long-term stability and success of the social care sector is a priority and the government has already allocated an extra £2bn of funding to the sector, including an extra £1bn this year.
The government will continue to look at this issue extremely carefully alongside industry representatives to see whether any further support is needed and ensure that action taken to protect workers is fair and proportionate, while seeing how it might be possible to minimise any impact on social care provision.
The government today announced it will:
- waive historic financial penalties owed by employers who have underpaid their workers for overnight sleep-in shifts before 26 July 2017; and
- temporarily suspend HMRC enforcement activity concerning payment of sleep-in shifts by social care providers until 2 October 2017.
Government reaffirmed its expectation that all employers pay their workers according to the law, including for sleep-in shifts, as set out in guidance entitled “Calculating the National Minimum Wage”.