The Government has just published more information on how employers can apply for the additional death in service benefit of £60,000 should any employee die as a result of exposure to Covid 19 in their NHS or wider health and care sector workplace.
We’re looking here at how it applies to independent and third sector employers, as this may be a little more complex than for NHS employers.
One change from earlier suggested versions of the scheme is that the employee doesn’t necessarily have to be on the front line, providing care directly to people suffering from Covid 19. If the employee had to work in a location where the virus was present, and was at risk as a result, then they should be eligible. Every case’s circumstances will differ. But, for example, if a cook died having carried out catering on the premises, which couldn’t be done elsewhere (a cook could not work from home), even if the cook never came into contact with a patient or care home resident, their employer might be able to claim against the scheme.
Social Care providers, including Children’s Care
If a provider is Care Quality Commission registered, then it will automatically qualify for the scheme. If it is not, then it can still use the scheme if it is carrying out publicly-funded work. This should cover all employees, not just those working on publicly-funded work.
For children’s care, the scheme covers child and family social workers working for organisations who receive public funding for children’s services. This includes employees, agency workers and contractors in children’s residential and secure homes, as well as other settings which are deemed to be at high risk of exposure which could not be avoided due to the nature and location of the work being carried out, such as residential special schools.
Other independent health care providers
Employers such as independent sector hospitals will have to be providing publicly-funded services to access the scheme. Where they are, for example, taking in and treating patients infected with Covid 19, the scheme is available to them.
We believe that this would also be relevant if a patient was admitted for another reason, but was suffering from the virus, so long as the original work was publicly-funded. If however a private patient came in and was found to be suffering from the virus, we do not believe the scheme would apply.
For further support and advice relating to the impact of COVID-19, please view our COVID-19 Advisory Service page.