Coronavirus (COVID-19): social care staff support fund guidance

Guidance for social care workers and employers about the Social Care Staff Support Fund, that aims to ensure social care workers do not experience financial hardship if they are ill or self-isolating due to coronavirus.

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Fund criteria

The Fund will ensure that social care workers receive their expected income (normal pay) when all of the following criteria are met:

Criteria 1

A relevant worker’s ability to undertake health and care work is, or has been, restricted for a reason relating to coronavirus.

Criteria 2

The worker’s income has been reduced as a result of not being able to work for a reason relating to coronavirus.

For example, a worker’s income may have been reduced if they only receive statutory sick pay, or another amount less than their expected income, when sick or self-isolating.

Criteria 3

The worker is experiencing financial hardship during the time when the Fund is active.

The expectation is that social care workers who have been, or will be, paid less than their expected income would experience financial hardship.

The Fund is active from 27 May 2020, its purpose is to ensure that social care workers do not experience financial hardship. To receive financial assistance from the Fund, the social care worker must be experiencing financial hardship on or after 27 May 2020.

Eligible social care workers may still be experiencing financial hardship if they received less than their expected income due to being ill with suspected or confirmed coronavirus, or self-isolating in accordance with public health guidance, between 23 March and 27 May 2020.

Criteria 4

The worker is unable to work because they have coronavirus, or are self-isolating in accordance with public health guidance.

Public health guidance means NHS Scotland guidance for the general public on NHS Inform or specific social care infection prevention control guidance published by Public Health Scotland or the Scottish Social Services Council.


Provided that all the eligibility criteria have been met, the Fund can be accessed for a period of absence of up to four weeks.  

Where the Fund does not apply

Social care workers who are shielding are not within the Fund's scope.

The Fund is not available when the reason for absence is not as a result of coronavirus, for example this may be where someone is isolating before or after elective (planned) surgery or travel that requires quarantine.

Staff are not eligible to access the Fund where they are absent from work to provide childcare. For example, if their child tests positive for coronavirus and is unable to attend school or nursery.

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