SPEAKING at the daily Welsh Government press conference, First Minister Mark Drakeford said the government is to fund a £500 extra payment for all social care workers in Wales payment providing a further recognition for an often “under-valued and overlooked” workforce.
The payment will be available to some 64,600 care home workers and domiciliary care workers throughout Wales.
It comes after the Welsh Government has provided an initial £40m extra funding for adult social care services to help meet the extra costs associated with responding to the coronavirus pandemic.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said:
“Tens of thousands of people work in social care in Wales, looking after some of the most vulnerable people in our communities and are doing so with great dedication in often challenging circumstances.
“They are undertaking tasks, which involve a high level of intimate personal care, often accepting a greater degree of risk and responsibility. Many of our social care workers are juggling their own personal caring responsibilities with their professional ones.
“I want our social care workforce know their hard work is both appreciated and recognised. This payment is designed to provide some further recognition of the value we attach to everything they are doing to – it recognises this group of people are providing the invisible scaffolding of services, which support both our NHS and our wider society.”
Further details about the extra payment will be announced shortly. The Welsh Government is working with local authorities, who commission social care services in Wales, and with trade unions and Care Forum Wales, to finalise details.
The First Minister has called on the UK Government not to tax the extra payment, enabling social care workers to keep the full amount. The Welsh Government is also working with the Department for Work and Pensions to make sure it does not impact on people’s benefit entitlements.
The First Minister added:
“We are urging the UK Government and the HMRC to make an exception in these truly exceptional circumstances.”
Today’s announcement follows the announcement of the death in service payment for the families of all NHS and social care staff made by Health and Social Services Minister Vaughan Gething on Tuesday.
This scheme will provide eligible beneficiaries with a one-off sum of £60,000 and will apply to those working in frontline roles and locations where personal care is provided to individuals who may have contracted coronavirus.