United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) is backing calls for registration fees for home care workers to be waived by the government in Wales.
In April 2020 home care workers in Wales were required to become registered with the statutory regulator, Social Care Wales, in order to work in social care. An earlier, voluntary, registration fee of £20, increased to £25 and has now increased to a compulsory £30 per care worker.
Currently the registration fee requirement only applies to home care workers; staff working in care homes are not required to register until October 2022, nor do others working in social care, such as those working as directly employed personal assistants. Registration is also not required for comparable roles in the NHS, such as for healthcare assistants.
UKHCA’s call for the registration fee to be waived comes after Care Forum Wales (CFW) council member Keri Llewellyn, who is the lead on domiciliary care, it was “unfair” to expect frontline care workers to pay when they had faced “increasing practical and emotional pressures” as a result of the Covid crisis.
Colin Angel, Policy Director at UKHCA said: “We support the registration of the social care workforce, as it is intended to improve their recognition as professionals. However, the application of a £30 fee currently places home care workers at a financial disadvantage to their colleagues in social care and health.
“The pandemic has been an emotionally demanding and physically exhausting year for front-line homecare workers, and the high quality support they deliver continues to be vital. We need to retain our experienced and dedicated staff and attract new people with the right values to provide the care we all expect when we need it.
“UKHCA supports homecare workers in Wales and calls for the Welsh Government to waive the £30 fee this year and ensure future fee arrangements are equitable.”
Keri Llewelyn, managing director of All Care and UKHCA member said: “Thirty pounds may not seem a lot of money to some but to those care workers at the lower end of the wages spectrum it is a big chunk out of their household budget for little immediate benefit.
“What we do not want is to put barriers in the way of our ability to recruit high standard new employees. This register was conceived with good intentions but currently the fees structure has caused discontent.”