Essex County Council - Provider Hub
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What is the Care Workforce Retention Claims Fund?

To recognise the hard work of your workforce we are implementing a retention fund to allow you to pay your staff a retention bonus for the 2023/24 financial year. The Council will reimburse a maximum of £300 per care worker based upon the size of the workforce recorded in the National Capacity Tracker.

Is my service eligible?

The Adult Social Care markets in scope for support under this scheme are:

  • residential care
  • domiciliary care
  • supported living 
  • extra care

The criteria for eligible providers is:

  • the service provider is CQC registered/regulated
  • the service provider has a CQC registered office that we contract with or a care home within the Council's administrative area (i.e. this does not include Southend or Thurrock)
  • the service provider had an ECC funded Adult within their service as of 1st July 2023
  • the Council will only reimburse you for employees who work within the Essex administrative area. 

When does the scheme run?

From 1 September 2023 to 31 March 2024

What can I claim for?

The Council will reimburse a maximum of £300 per eligible employee

What evidence is required?

Providers can submit a payroll report on the numbers of staff and their bonus paid and does not have to provide individual payslips (unless a company wants to).  The focus being on the number paid out rather than the individual carers names. 

For example, if you have 30 staff recorded on NECSU (as at 1st August 2023) and you have paid them £258.60 each (with the £41.40 being the additional employers NI contributions at 13.8%) as long as the payroll report shows this the Council will be able to reimburse you the £300 per worker. 

The Council reserves the right to spot check/audit providers to ensure that the provider is still complying with the specified criteria.

How do I access funding?

  1. Download a claim form here 
  2. Submit the completed claims form with ALL supporting evidence to

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

For further support and guidance, please contact the COVID Response Fund Team via email:

Frequently Asked Questions

So that I don't incur additional NI oncosts can I use some of the £300 retention bonus to cover my additional costs?

Yes, from the 23rd November 2023 providers can claim up to £300 per carer which includes additional NI oncostsThis will mean that carers receive a bonus in the region of £250 - £260. 

Can a provider that has already claimed funding, reclaim for the National Insurance and Tax occurred?

No, unfortunately this change to guidance can only be applied to new claims from the 23rd November 2023.

Is the £300 retention bonus a gross payment or a net payment?

The maximum amount of £300 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 reimburse a maximum of £300 per staff member throughout the 23/24 financial year.

How much retention bonus should I pay my part time staff?

The level of retention bonus you pay your staff is a business decision, however the Council will only reimburse a maximum of £300 per permanent employee. This amount applies to both full time and part time staff.

Can I pay my staff a bonus of £100 per month over a three month (or longer) period?

Yes you can pay your staff a smaller bonus over a longer period of time should you choose to. If you do proceed on this basis the Council will need to see clear evidence that no individual has been paid more than the maximum reimbursable amount of £300 available under this scheme i.e. you can’t claim for one staff member at £400 and another at £200. All payments will need to be made to staff and claimed by the 31st March 2024.

I have more than one care home/domiciliary care office in Essex can I submit one claim for all locations?

The fund has been allocated per home or domiciliary care office based on the CQC location id numbers, therefore you will need to submit a claim at a location level.

Why do I need to submit evidence to support my claim?

The Council is very keen to support providers to keep as many care staff working in the sector as possible. The aim of this fund is to ensure that the money reaches the carers who undertake their duties all year round. We need the evidence to show that carers have actually received either the retention bonus or have been paid for attending training courses organised by the Council’s Quality Innovation Team. Unfortunately, if a provider chooses not to send evidence or the evidence doesn’t clearly show that the care staff have been paid accordingly under this fund, we will not be able to reimburse the provider.

Last updated: 23/11/2023