UKHCA sets new Minimum Price for Homecare for 2021/22

Sterling Rates To Fluctuate During Brexit Negotiations

United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) has announced its latest calculation for the Minimum Price for Homecare.

The price will be set at £21.43 per hour, effective from April 2021, when the UK’s statutory National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage increase to £8.36 – for 21 to 22 year-olds – and £8.91 respectively.

This represents an increase of £0.74 (3.58%) on last year’s rate of £20.69 and covers the minimum legally compliant pay rate for care workers (excluding any enhancements for unsocial hours working), their travel time, mileage and wage-related on-costs.

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The rate also includes the minimum contribution towards the costs of running a care business which complies with quality requirements at a financially sustainable level.

Equivalent rates based on the Voluntary UK and Scottish Living Wages and the London Living Wage are also provided in this briefing.

These new rates exclude the additional costs of personal protective equipment (PPE). But in the event that governments in the four UK administrations withdraw supply of COVID19-specific PPE while public health advice requires their use, these costs would need to be included in the hourly price paid for home care, UKHCA said.

The breakdown of the costs included in the new minimum £21.43 hourly rate for the statutory National Living Wage is shown in the chart below.

The Minimum Price for Homecare is aimed primarily at providers and commissioners of state-funded social care purchased by local councils and the NHS in England, Wales and Scotland and by the health and social care trusts in Northern Ireland. 

Announcing the new price, UKHCA policy director Colin Angel said: “The costs of running a care service are strongly influenced by the requirement on providers to meet legal obligations to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the people they support.

“When undertaking cost of care exercises, we strongly caution local authority and NHS commissioners against under-estimating costs in a bid to reduce the total hourly price paid for care.  A cost-saving approach which effectively ‘salami-slices’ the different elements of providers’ operating costs is taking risks with the quality and safety of a regulated service. It also risks undermining the ability of providers to improve the working experience of care workers, thereby further destabilising the workforce.”

The operating costs which individual providers experience varies, but typical costs of a sustainable home care service are summarised in the diagram, below.

To read more about the new Minimum Price for Homecare, click here.

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Sarah Clarke

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