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Workforce Testing Claims Subsidy Fund

The Workforce Testing Claims Subsidy Fund will end on 30th September 2022. All claims for the eligible spend period of 1st April to 30th September 2022 need to be submitted no later than 5pm on 31st October 2022 to workforceandtestingfund@essex.gov.uk

Context 

Essex County Council have created a workforce and testing claims subsidy scheme to support our existing social care providers that require additional financial support with the recruitment and retention of carers, and expenditure of testing. The providers that are in scope of this scheme are within our residential, domiciliary, supported living and extra care services.

The scheme will support providers that meets the criteria with expenses from 1st April 2022 until 30th September 2022 inclusive. All providers that are eligible will need to follow claims process. Providers will be able to claim for the following areas:

  • Payment of full pay to staff whilst they are off sick. 
  • Costs associated with covering an employee who is off sick. 
  • Incentives for existing staff to take on additional hours. 
  • Local recruitment initiatives. 
  • Training costs for new recruits or to increase productivity of existing staff. 
  • Incentives to encourage flexible working patterns.
  • Payment in lieu of annual leave. 
  • Payment of a retention bonus 
  • Testing for COVID. 

To ensure your claim is successful, please ensure you provide the relevant evidence as part of your submission. Once you have submitted your claim will be acknowledged upon receipt along with a unique claim reference number. 

Please note that we will only accept one claim per provider per month per location (some providers have several locations), however, this can be covering multiple months. 

Once the team have successfully processed the claim, you will be notified of the payment and budget balance. Payment should reach your account within 5 working days.

For further support and guidance, please contact the Workforce & Testing Fund via email: workforceandtestingfund@essex.gov.uk

Workforce Testing Details

To be eligible to make a claim from the fund, you need to be supporting Essex County Council funded adults in either a residential care setting or with personal care in their own home during the current financial year (April 2022 - March 2023).

The table below provides you with the criteria for the claims you are able to submit, the description and evidence required for a successful submission.  

Please note: As this fund is evidence based, personal information should be redacted prior to sending i.e. wage slip should have personal data blacked out.

Please also note that Eligible costs will be determined on a case-by-case basis with justification provided as to why the additional costs were incurred.

Eligible Cost

Description

Evidence Required

Payment of full pay to staff whilst they are off sick

Providers will be able to claim the additional costs incurred between SSP and full pay to enable them to pay their staff the full amount they would have received had they been able to work.

Copies of payslips setting out the amount paid and showing the SSP element.

Costs associated with covering an employee who is off sick

Providers will incur additional costs as a result of a person being off sick. They may choose to utilise an agency for providing this cover or pay overtime to other staff.

Claims for this will also need to be submitted alongside the payment they are claiming for reimbursement of the difference between SSP and full pay for the employee

Copies of agency invoices and / or copies of payslips showing the overtime paid.

Incentives for existing staff to take on additional hours

Examples include paying for childcare and enhanced rates to encourage staff to work during school holidays and on public holidays.

Payslips showing the before and after rates

Local recruitment initiatives

Providers can claim the costs of undertaking recruitment initiatives to increase their workforce.

Copies of invoices

Training costs for new recruits or to increase productivity of existing staff

Providers can claim the costs of training for new recruits or the cost of training to increase the productivity of their current staff

Copies of invoices

Incentives to encourage flexible working patterns

Providers may offer enhanced rates to encourage their staff to work flexibly.

Payslips showing the before and after rates

Payment in lieu of annual leave

Providers may choose to buy back annual leave from an employee and to pay them for this time instead.

Payslips evidencing that the annual leave has been brought back

Payment of a retention bonus

Providers may claim back the costs associated with the payment of a retention bonus to encourage their employees to stay with the organisation. This will be capped at £100 per permanent employee.

Copies of their payroll showing that they have paid this, the number of employees and the total amount paid.

Testing

Providers can claim up to £6 per occupied bed per week to cover the costs of testing. (Residential settings only.)

Copies of invoices

 

To be able to submit your claim form and evidence to the Market Team please follow, the following steps. 

  1. Download a claim form here - Claims form
  2. Disclaimer (tab 1) Ensure each question has been fully completed. Not fully completing this will result in a delay to your claim being processed
  3. Claim Form (tab 2) Please complete all columns B-N as required 
  4. Submit the completed claims form with ALL supporting evidence to workforceandtestingfund@essex.gov.uk

Your claim will be acknowledged upon receipt along with a unique claim reference number.  Once the team have successfully processed the claim, you will be notified of the payment and budget balance. Payment should reach your account within 5 working days.

Only one claim will be accepted per supplier per month.

A cap has been set on the amount that can be claimed as follows:

  1. The retention bonus has been capped at £100 per permanent employee as declared on the National Tracker Capacity Tracker (NECSU) on 1st April 2022.
  2. For residential care settings only, the testing cap has been calculated as the number of beds occupied on 1st April 2022 as declared on the National Capacity Tracker (NECSU) multiplied by £6 per week multiplied by 52 weeks.
  3. For other workforce related costs in scope of the fund, the cap has been calculated as 2.4% of the Council's spend with your organisation during 2021-22.

Frequently Asked Questions

This fund has been set up to assist providers with the workforce issues they are facing and to support the residential care sector with the costs they may be incurring as a result of COVID testing, especially in the event of an outbreak. The fund covers the following services:

  • Residential and nursing care
  • Domiciliary care
  • Supported living
  • Extra care

Despite the change in testing guidelines, if you have incurred additional costs in relation to covid testing, maybe due to an outbreak in the home since April 2022, as long as you can provide evidence  then you will be able to access the testing part of the fund allocated to you. If you have not incurred any additional expense due to this then you will not be able to access it.

The amount of £100 is a gross payment capped at that amount per permanent employee. If a care provider decides to pay a higher level retention bonus to staff that is a business decision, however the Council will only contribute £100 towards this. Please note this is a one off payment and not something that can be claimed for monthly.

The fund had been allocated per home or domiciliary care office. Therefore we can only accept one claim per provider per month per location, however, this can be covering multiple months. 

Please contact us at workforceandtestingfund@essex.gov.uk and we will calculate the cap on the amount to be claimed. For items 1 & 2, the basis will be the same. For item 3, we will use forecasted 22-23 spend and apply the 2.4% to this amount

Last updated: 02/09/2022