TRAVEL fees paid to private sector home care workers will go up to 45p per mile after councilors voted in favor of the proposal.
This increase will reach the same level as Powys County Council paying its own carers.
The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday July 26 and is intended to help care workers cope with the cost of living crisis, which includes record high fuel prices.
Caring Powys Cabinet Member Cllr Sian Cox said: ‘This is the latest of our measures in response to the cost of living crisis as it affects our home workers and the lasting and unsustainable impact that this has on our ability to meet care needs. and wellness goals in Powys.
“Part of this relies on our ability to attract, recruit and retain appropriately qualified home care workers and our ability to fulfill our obligation to provide care close to home so that people ready to leave hospital can do so.”
Cllr Cox added that counselors received ‘calls for help’ from social workers as they ‘struggle to make ends meet’.
Cllr Cox added: ‘We know social workers are already quitting their jobs to work in retail or hospitality where lack of travel makes the difference between working to meet basic living costs or not.
“This is an urgent situation requiring immediate action.”
Deputy head of the council, Cllr Matthew Dorrance, said: ‘I am delighted to see this, it is important to ensure equity between social workers in the public and independent sectors.
Cllr Dorrance asked if there was an assessment on how to deal with the higher travel costs as the unions had asked HMRC (Her Majesty’s Department of Revenue and Customs of the UK Government) to increase these travel costs shift.
“I want to make sure we make the decision permanent,” said Cllr Dorrance.
Adult social care manager Michael Gray said: ‘At this time we have no indication that HMRC will increase this mileage rate by 45p.
“The document was based on the assumption that this would not happen anytime soon.
“If the rate changed, we would have to review that.”
The report says funding for this will cost £148,991 until the end of March 2022 and will come from a budget management reserve.
For future budgets, this cost will be taken into account.
The money will be passed on to external home care providers, who in turn will pass it on to their workforce.
Cabinet voted unanimously to increase the travel expense rate.