MAC Report on Adult Social Care Published
28 April 2022
"We have heard from you, our community, that Recruiting Personal Assistants as an individual disabled employer is just getting harder, especially with new immigration laws post Brexit.
To raise awareness of the problem, we launched our #ItsNotJustCare campaign in March, highlighting what a career as a PA involves and the varied opportunities it can bring. We have summarised the problems within the immigration system and the lack of support for disabled individuals wanting to employ their own staff.
So what is the MAC report and why is it relevant to the disabled community?
MAC stands for ‘Migration Advisory Committee’, and it makes recommendations to the government about adult social care and the impact that ending freedom of movement has had on the sector. Issues we have highlighted in the #ItsNotJustCare campaign (read more below).
We are hoping that the government are now listening, but we still need to raise much needed awareness! Please continue to share your positive PA stories and pictures with #ItsNotJustCare or contact email@example.com if you would like to share your journey of recruiting PAs.
Portia Thorman, Advocacy Lead SMA UK
The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has published its new report this week, providing recommendations on how to address issues the sector is experiencing.
Looking at how it addresses our asks in the #ItsNotJustCare campaign:
1. To push for individual disabled employers to be added to the expanded the Health and Care Visa Scheme
- "Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the Devolved Administrations (DAs), should work jointly on a review of the evidence available on directly employed care workers, including those paid for via direct payments, personal health budgets and private funding."
This is not the solution that we had hoped for but it shows the problem has now been officially recognised and so will give our argument more power. There may be opportunities to bring evidence from our community to the table.
2. Allocate additional funding to improve care package provision to improve recruitment of PAs
The report recommends that the Government fully funds a minimum rate of pay for care workers in England that is above the National Living Wage (NLW), where care is provided through public funds, at a minimum rate of £10.50 per hour.
In our opinion this is still not a fair wage for such an important and demanding role, but it is an improvement.
3. Review progress made by local authorities to develop and deliver plans that will support individual disabled employers to recruit and retain their own staff.
- MAC would encourage DHSC and the DAs to work with local authorities to support the development of the market for individuals to work with a care agency to sponsor a specific care worker.
- The Government could consider the introduction of a pilot umbrella scheme. Under the scheme, an umbrella body would be appointed to sponsor care workers from overseas and people who can show that their level of need requires live-in care would be able to directly recruit from the umbrella body.
It seems the government are focusing on encouraging individuals to work with an agency, training for individual disabled employers is not mentioned. However, the pilot scheme shows some promise.