Government announces scheme to help socialcare providers

The government has recognised the difficulty that the National Living Wage (NLW) and the National Minimum Wage (NMW) is causing for employers of social care providers with regards to sleep-in shifts and is therefore exploring options to minimise the impact on the sector.

The Social Care Compliance Scheme (SCCS) has been created to help providers work out if they have been underpaying workers for sleep-in shifts.

The SCCS delivers an interim approach to HMRC’s enforcement of NMW in the social care sector while the government explores options to minimise the impact of financial liabilities associated with sleep-in shifts. Eligible social care employers can apply to join the SCCS up until 31 December 2018, subject to HMRC’s discretion.

How the scheme works

If you think you may have paid workers less than NLW or NMW, you can apply to join HMRC’s social Care Compliance Scheme. If accepted onto the scheme, you can then calculate and declare any underpayment of NLW or NMW made to employees and you will not have to pay up to 200% in financial penalties or be publicly named.

If an employer is accepted into the SCCS they will be provided with support in self-reviewing their compliance, however will be required to declare any arrears identified by 31 December 2018, and repay any arrears due to workers by 31 March 2019, regardless of when they join the scheme.

To be eligible to apply to this scheme you must be classed as an employer in the social care sector, covering the following areas:

  • an employer
  • someone who funds their own care
  • someone who receives money to fund their own care

Employers who enter the SCCS will need to self-review their records as far back as any NMW/NLW risk existed, for up to 6 years.

Providers cannot join the scheme if they have previously been prosecuted for underpayment of the NMW/MLW or have declined an invitation from HMRC to join the scheme.

The deadline to join the scheme is 31 December 2018.

Source: HMRC Agent Update 66

More from our care sector experts

You can also find all of our latest care sector news and newsletters here.

If you are looking for advice in a particular area, please get in touch with your usual Hawsons contact.

Alternatively, we offer all new clients a free initial meeting to have a discussion about their own personal circumstances – find out more or book your free initial meeting here. We have offices in Sheffield, Doncaster and Northampton.

Scott Sanderson

Scott Sanderson Partner

Scott Sanderson began his career with Hawsons and trained as a Chartered Accountant, becoming a partner in 2015, specialising in the healthcare sector and small businesses. For more details and advice, please contact Scott on [email protected] or 0114 266 7141.[/author_info]