Newsletter for 
 individual employers and 
 those who support them 


 August 2021 

Welcome to the individual employer update which shares the latest news, resources, events and funding opportunities from Skills for Care and partners. You can find previous newsletters here.

 Latest news 
Funding now available for the rapid induction training
The fully funded rapid induction programme is now available to ensure new workers can perform their duties safely.

Individual employers can access this funded training for PAs who are NEW to their job as part of their induction.

The rapid induction programme covers:
  • assisting and moving people
  • basic life support
  • fire safety
  • food safety
  • health and safety awareness
  • infection prevention and control
  • medication management
  • safeguarding (specifically around isolation).
It also contains the main knowledge elements from the Care Certificate.

Employers can select from 12 endorsed learning providers who have been awarded grants to deliver rapid induction training.

Please note, all training will be delivered virtually, and individual employer do not need to have an ASC-WDS account to access the training.

⇨ Find out more
Skills for Care strategy 2021 – 2024
Our new strategy sets out Skills for Care’s direction over the next three years. We will work towards our mission and vision of supporting everyone who works across social care to create a fair and just society, where people can access the advice, care and support they need to live life to the fullest.

Our four strategic priorities for investment and growth will help us to shape the make-up of the social care workforce, drive forward reform and ensure that social care is seen as a valued and worthwhile career:
  • Increasing workforce capacity to make sure we have the right number of people, with the right values and behaviours, working in social care now and in the future.
  • Supporting workforce capabilities to ensure staff have the right skills, knowledge, competencies, values and behaviours to meet current and future needs in our communities.
  • Supporting culture and diversity to ensure the workforce is treated equally, feels included and valued, and is supported to stay well and pursue their careers in social care.
  • Improving the social care system to ensure it is well funded, supports people to live the lives that they choose and attracts the right people to the workforce.

⇨ Read more about the Skills for Care strategy.
Guidance from the Government and key stakeholders 
New Acas Disability Hub
In line with the government National Disability Strategy, Acas in conjunction with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has launched a new disability hub to provide clear advice and guidance on disability employment rights for both employers and workers. The guidance on the disability hub covers:
  • reasonable adjustments
  • supporting mental health at work
  • disability discrimination
  • employment law
  • improving equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace
  • applying protected characteristics at work
  • coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance.
⇨ Access the new Acas disability hub.

Update to: Is your PA employed or self-employed?
The government wants people with long-term health conditions and social care needs to have more choice and control over how their health and social care needs are met. One way they’re supporting this to happen is through personal budgets.

People can use a personal budget is to receive money directly and use it to hire their own personal assistant (PA). Taking on your own PA may mean that you become an employer. This carries with it some important responsibilities.

The law around becoming an employer is complex, so this factsheet has been developed by the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG), part of the Chartered Institute of Taxation, to explain the rules and to help you understand more about what is involved.

⇨ Find out more information from LITRG
⇨ Read the taking on your own PA tax guide

COVID-19 vaccination: guide for employers
Not specifically for individual employers, but you may wish to make use of the information and resources for employers to help support your staff and promote the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination programme.

⇨ Find out more
 
National flu immunisation programme 2021 to 2022
The Department of Health and Social Care has published guidance for the national flu immunisation programme for 2021/22.

PAs are again eligible for NHS influenza vaccination in 2021 to 2022 as part of the frontline health and social care staff employed by social care and/or health direct payment recipients.

⇨ Find out more

COVID-19 guidance updates
Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for people receiving direct payments
  • To show the supply of free PPE to all of Adult Social Care is until the end of March 2022.
  • ‘Guidance for local authorities and clinical commissioning groups in the delivery of direct payments and personal health budgets’ to reflect the lifting of restrictions as part of step 4 of the roadmap.
  • 'Guidance for local authorities and clinical commissioning groups in the delivery of direct payments and personal health budgets' to reflect the lifting of restrictions as part of step 4 of the roadmap.
⇨ Find out more

COVID-19: how to work safely in domiciliary care in England
  • Updated infographics for putting on and taking off PPE.
  • Added new section on use of PPE for live-in careworkers.
  • Updated to reflect changes to guidance in Step 4 of the roadmap.
  • Updated section on types of masks that can be used for domestic duties when 2 metres or more from the client.
  • Inclusion of paragraph on what PPE to use when supporting an individual or client on visits out.
⇨ Find out more

COVID-19: guidance on protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable
  • Guidance updated as per government’s advice for clinically extremely vulnerable people to, as a minimum, follow the same guidance as the general population.
  • Added information about vaccinations for eligible children and young people.
  • Updated section on socialising inside and outside the home.
  • Added British Sign Language, large print and audio versions.
⇨ Find out more
 Skills for Care resource and support
New resource to support good individual employer and PA working relationships
Skills for Care, with individual employers and personal assistants, has developed a new resource to support the development of an agreed way of working together.

It sets out what PAs can expect from their employer and what employers can expect from their PAs (in a similar way to a code of conduct). The resource can support conversations about what would work well so that you can agree how to work together.

It can:

  • make sure you are a good fit for each other
  • establish boundaries
  • help to find out if any learning and development is needed
  • be used flexibly to fit with your working relationship
  • complement other documents, for example, contract of employment, employee handbook, job description, information from insurance providers and more.

The leaflet gives an overview of how you agree to work together and what employers and PAs will do. The accompanying template can be personalised and be used to expand on what will make your unique working relationship work.

Both can be used at the beginning, during and throughout your working relationship. They can also be used during a work trial, as part of induction, at supervision or regular reviews and form the basis of an ongoing conversation between employer and PA, and where rele­vant the wider team and circle of support.

Access the resources and see how they work for you. 

If you’d like to share how you've used the resources, and the impact they've made, please email pa.framework@skillsforcare.org.uk.



Updated guidance on face-to-face training
Now we’ve reached Step 4 of the Government’s Road map and restrictions are easing, you may be planning for the reintroduction of face-to-face training and assessment.

But the priority must continue to be the safety and protection of people, and digital solutions are likely to continue to be the safest option. Where these are not suitable, we encourage you to carry out an appropriate risk assessment and our updated guidance can assist you with that process.

⇨ Guidance on face to face and assessment

The Size and structure of the adult social care sector and workforce in England
Skills for Care’s latest ‘The Size and structure of the adult social care sector and workforce in England’ data is now available.

The data is available as an interactive visualisation and the key findings include:
  • The number of people working in adult social care was estimated at 1.54 million in 2020/21.
  • The number of adult social care jobs in England as at 2020/21 was estimated at 1.67 million – this has increased by 2.7% (45,000 jobs) between 2019/20 and 2020/21.
  • The vast majority of the increase in adult social care jobs during the pandemic was in CQC regulated non-residential care services which increased by 40,000 jobs or 7%.
  • The number of full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs was estimated at 1.19 million.
  • An estimated 17,700 organisations were involved in providing or organising adult social care in England as at 2020/21. Those services were delivered in an estimated 39,000 establishments.
  • If the adult social care workforce grows proportionally to the projected number of people aged 65 and over in the population then the number of adult social care jobs will increase by 29%, or 480,000 jobs, to around 2.16 million jobs by 2035.
⇨ Find out more and view the report
 Events 

Upcoming online regional networking events
These networking events provide you with the opportunity to share good practice, highlight new and innovative ways of working and more importantly provide opportunities to support and network with others.

They’re aimed at anyone with an interest in supporting individual employers and personal assistants including user led organisations, direct payment support organisations, personal health budget teams, social workers, and local authority workforce development officers.

We’ll be circulating the booking links for these event’s shortly so in the meantime please note them in your diary if you’re interested in attending.
 
Regional events Date Time
East and Midlands
 
Thursday 7 October 2021
 
10:00 – 11:30
 
North West/Yorkshire and Humber/
North East
Wednesday 24 November 2021
 
TBC
 
South West and London South East
 
Wednesday 10 November 2021
 
TBC
 
 
 
Staying safe online webinar
Date: 21 October 2021 | Time: 10:00 – 11:00

Skills for Care are delighted to be hosting an interactive webinar for individual employers and support organisations about how to stay safe online.
 

This webinar run in partnership with West Midlands Police will outline practical steps you can take as an employer to keep safe online, including cyber security, keeping personal information safe and staying safe on social media.


Who should attend?


Individual employers and people that work for an organisation that supports individual employers including, user led organisations, direct payment support organisations and local authority teams, personal health budget support organisations and CCG teams, charities, people that support individual employers within their role and other third sector organisations.


⇨ Register for this event
 
Get Yourself Active/Disability Rights UK: Social Care Activity Pack – Launch Event
Get Yourself Active/Disability Rights UK (DRUK) have been creating a resource for the social care workforce to support them to have more conversations with the people they support around getting active.

The pack will develop knowledge of physical activity, help staff to have more conversations with the people they support about getting active and how to provide active support, as well as giving ideas to build exercise into everyday activities.

A launch webinar on Friday 13 August, at 11am will include talks from DRUK, Durham University, Sense and social care staff around the importance of supporting people to be active and how this resource can help.

⇨ Register for this webinar
 
 

 
 Get involved
Improving Adult Care Together (IMPACT): Survey
IMPACT is the new UK centre for implementing evidence in adult social are, led by the University of Birmingham. It will draw on knowledge gained from differenttypes of research, the lived experience of people who draw on care and support, and the practice wisdom of social care staff.

To help identify priorities and develop a draft work programme and ideas for delivery, they are interested in hearing from you and have set up a short survey you can complete.

Please share the information and survey links with your colleagues, networks and people you support.


Modernising Lasting Powers of Attorney: Consultation
The lasting power of attorney (LPA) was introduced in 2007. It was designed to provide more flexibility and greater protections than its predecessor, the Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA).

However, the world is changing, and people increasingly want to access services digitally. Digital channels provide many opportunities to improve access and speed of service, but they also require us to think anew about the safeguards we put in place in such systems.

It’s for these reasons that the Ministry of Justice and Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) are working to modernise LPAs, and this will require changes to the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the supporting secondary legislation.

The Ministry of Justice has launched a consultation as they want your views on the potential changes to the legal framework
, including the following:
  • the role and value of witnessing on LPAs and how to keep that value
  • the role of applying to register an LPA and who can apply
  • changes that may be needed to OPG's remit
  • changes to how people can object to the registration of an LPA
  • changes to when people can object
  • the speed of the LPA service and whether a dedicated faster service should be introduced for people who need an LPA urgently
  • how to ensure that solicitors have access to the service.

⇨ Give your views
 

Review of the impact of the ending of freedom of movement on the adult social care sector

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has launched a call for evidence after being commissioned by Government to undertake a review of adult social care and the impact the ending of freedom of movement has had on the sector.

MAC has specifically been asked to look at:

  • The adult social care workforce (such as skills shortages) covering the range of caring roles in adult social care including care workers, registered nurses and managerial roles.
  • Visa options for social care workers.
  • Long term consequences for workforce recruitment, training and employee terms and conditions.
  • Any other relevant matters the independent chair deems appropriate which are relevant to the above objectives.

The call for evidence is seeking views and evidence from anyone with relevant knowledge, expertise or experience to help inform the MAC response to Government, due April 2022.

The deadline for submitting responses to the call for evidence questionnaire is 29 October 2021.


⇨ Give your views

Reminder
Visit the information hub
Our information hub brings together useful information from lots of different places for individual employers and personal assistants (PAs), we have a range of guidance, templates toolkits, webinars and third-party resources to support you in your role.


⇨ Visit the information hub to find out more

Get updates from the Department of Health and Social Care
Sign up to receive the latest round up of care sector news, guidance, resources and blogs, from the Department of Health and Social Care.


⇨ Find out more
 
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Get involved on Twitter using hashtag
#PAFramework
 
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