Carers hoping to receive a promised £600 bonus for their ‘incredible efforts’ throughout the Covid pandemic have been told that they should not be disadvantaged if they took time off sick.
On Monday, this newspaper revealed that some carers expecting the bonus, announced by council chiefs for all staff across Northamptonshire delivering CQC regulated care services, had not received their payments.
Carers had also found out their payments would be pro-rata and money given would depend on their working contracts and some were told that as they had been off sick they would not be eligible for the full amount.
Now council chiefs have confirmed that bonus payments expected by 12,075 hard-working staff, employed by more than 400 independent care and support providers, should be added to pay packets this week.
Cllr Helen Harrison, North Northants Council’s executive member for adults, health and wellbeing, said: “The funds to make the payments to carers were intended to be transferred to care providers after March 31, once that date had passed, due to any new members of staff being recruited in that time. The transfer of those funds to care providers in North Northamptonshire took place on April 11 and 13, 2022.
"In the first instance staff affected should check with their employer as to when they can expect the payments to be paid to them through their wages.
"Regarding individual circumstances, such as if a carer has been off sick during the period, the council is not party to that information and has transferred the payment to the care provider as the member of staff will have been identified as a carer regardless of whether they were off sick or not.
"It is the council’s expectation that the providers should then pass on the payment equivalent to the member of staff’s normal working hours (pro rata if part-time) as per the conditions set-out to care providers, and should not be disadvantaging committed carers that were unable to work due to sickness.
"For our own carers employed within the council, I have received assurances that they have received their payment in their April pay yesterday (Monday, April 25). However, if anyone believes they have not received the correct payment we would encourage them to speak to their line manager to help resolve this."
North Northants Council has said that a condition of the payments to providers was ‘acceptance of passporting the payment through to frontline carers, pro rata for part time’.
Any carers told by their employer that they will not be receiving the payment have been advised to contact the council’s commissioning team as non-payment would be in breach of the grant conditions.
Cllr Harrison added: “In the event a provider has informed their staff that they will not be passporting the payment through to carers we would encourage workers to advise the commissioning team at the council as this would be in breach of the grant conditions and we would wish to address this with the providers in question.”