CRWIA Stage 1 - Screening key questions
1. Name the policy, and describe its overall aims.
Carer’s Allowance Supplement (Scotland) Bill
The Bill aims to provide unpaid carers who receive carer’s allowance with extra financial support in recognition of the extra burden the pandemic has placed on carers and due to the loss of income and increased costs many have faced as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. This is in line with the Scottish Government’s broader policy objective to support carers to protect their health and wellbeing, so they can continue to care if they so wish, and have a life alongside caring.
This extra support will be paid as an increased amount of Carer’s Allowance Supplement for the period from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2021. As the extra support for this period is intended to help address the effects of the coronavirus outbreak, the amount by which the Carer’s Allowance Supplement is increased is referred to in this document as the ‘Coronavirus Carer’s Allowance Supplement’.
The Bill also proposes to confer a delegated power on the Scottish Ministers to enable the Scottish Ministers to introduce regulations to provide unpaid carers who receive Carer’s Allowance with extra financial support if necessary.
2. What aspects of the policy/measure will affect children and young people up to the age of 18?
The Articles of the UNCRC and the child wellbeing indicators under the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 apply to all children and young people up to the age of 18, including non-citizen and undocumented children and young people.
Carer’s Allowance Supplement is a payment made twice annually to persons who, on the qualifying date for each supplement, were in receipt of Carer’s Allowance and are resident in Scotland or (or otherwise met the eligibility conditions referred to in section 81(2A) of the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018). To be eligible for Carer’s Allowance an individual must meet the eligibility requirements which includes being aged 16 or over. The increased Carer’s Allowance Supplement proposed in the Bill will therefore affect young people aged 16 or over.
Disabled children and young people who are cared for by someone in receipt of Carer’s Allowance and who meets the residence requirements for Carer’s Allowance Supplement will also be indirectly affected by the measure.
3. What likely impact – direct or indirect – will the policy/measure have on children and young people?
‘Direct’ impact refers to policies/measures where children and young people are directly affected by the proposed changes, e.g. in early years, education, child protection or looked after children (children in care). ‘Indirect’ impact refers to policies/measures that are not directly aimed at children but will have an impact on them. Examples include: welfare reforms, parental leave, housing supply, or local transport schemes.
Coronavirus Carer’s Allowance Supplement will directly affect young people (16 or over) who are in receipt of Carer’s Allowance, with indirect impacts on disabled children and young people who are cared for by someone in receipt of Carer’s Allowance. Coronavirus Carer’s Allowance Supplement is expected to have positive impacts on those children and young people directly and indirectly affected.
According to Census 2011 data, around 8,200 16-18 year olds were reported as providing some hours of unpaid care. As of August 2020, there are around 83,000 carers in receipt of Carer’s Allowance in Scotland, of whom approximately just over 1 per cent are aged 16-18. While some recipients may have significant capital and non-earnings income, most recipients are expected to have lower than average incomes. Research has shown that caring can have negative impacts on carers’ health and wellbeing.
Young carers may often not recognise themselves as carers, and as such may be less likely to receive support for their caring role. Studies have suggested that this is especially common among some minority cultural and ethnic communities. Publicity around Coronavirus Carer’s Allowance Supplement may increase uptake of Carer’s Allowance among eligible young carers.
The Scottish Government recognises that the limitations of the data available mean it is not possible to get a complete picture of the experiences of young carers in receipt of Carer’s Allowance, or children and young people who are cared for, or living with, people in receipt of Carer’s Allowance. It is also recognised that the current eligibility criteria for Carer’s Allowance may impact more negatively on children and young people because of the restrictions on study hours and the requirement to provide at least 35 hours a week of caring. The Scottish Government has introduced a Young Carer Grant of around £300 per year for carers aged 16, 17 and 18 who are not in receipt of Carer’s Allowance. This new grant provides some financial support and is intended to recognise the contribution of young carers who are not eligible for Carer’s Allowance.
4. Which groups of children and young people will be affected?
Under the UNCRC, ‘children’ can refer to: individual children, groups of children, or children in general. Some groups of children will relate to the groups with protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010: disability, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation. ‘Groups’ can also refer to children by age band or setting, or those who are eligible for special protection or assistance: e.g. preschool children, children in hospital, children in rural areas, looked after children, young people who offend, victims of abuse or exploitation, child migrants, or children living in poverty.
Young people who are in receipt of Carer’s Allowance and who qualify for Carer’s Allowance Supplement will be affected.
Disabled children and young people aged up to 18 and cared for by someone who qualifies for the increased carer’s allowance supplement may be affected.
5. Will this require a CRWIA?
Explain your reasons.
No. The Scottish Government has assessed the potential of the Bill on children’s rights and wellbeing and no detrimental effects are anticipated.
CRWIA Not Required
Andrew Strong, Senior Policy Officer, Carer Benefts and Case Transfer Policy Unit, Social Security Directorate, 21 June 2021
Deputy Director or equivalent
Ian Davidson, Deputy Director, Social Security Policy, Social Security Directorate, 21 June 2021