Coronavirus (COVID-19): social care workforce payment – guidance for local authorities

Guidance on the payment process for the social care workforce £500 payment for local authorities who employ staff in adult social care services or children’s residential care, registered with the Care Inspectorate.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19): £500 payment for health and social care staff

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced on 30 November 2020 a one-off £500 pro rata payment for health and social care staff on the frontline throughout the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

It is a thank you to staff employed in adult social care and children’s residential care. Scottish Government Ministers wish to recognise the extraordinary effort that health and social care staff have made during the pandemic.

Read further information on the payment.

Those who work full-time or part-time and with any type of contract are eligible for the payment. So long as you were employed for at least 4 continuous weeks between 17 March 2020 and 30 November 2020. This includes if you have a permanent or temporary contract, if your contract is for set hours, casual or zero hours. You will be liable for tax, national insurance contributions, student loan repayments, and tax credits, where appropriate on this payment.

If you are eligible but were:

  • shielding
  • on sick leave
  • on maternity, paternity, adoption leave
  • furloughed

you will still get a payment.

In most cases we will be able to make this payment to you through your normal payroll without any information from you.

If you have more than 1 employer, left your role, retired or receive benefits we may need to make a change to your payment.

Please read the information attached in the further information for staff document and notify us as soon as possible if we need to make a change to your payment. We need this information before the end of March so that we request the correct amount from the Scottish Government to make the payment to our staff.

We can spread the payment to you over a period of months if this reduces the impact it has on your benefits. You need to notify us by the end of March if you want us to do this.

Complaints procedure – Scottish Government £500 social care worker bonus payment

The £500 thank you bonus payment is being paid by your employer on behalf of the Scottish Government. The payments are made in accordance with the eligibility criteria set by the Scottish Government. If you are unhappy with the initial determination on the payment your employer will be able to explain this to you.

How to complain: frontline resolution

If you are still dissatisfied with the initial explanation on the £500 thankyou payment, please contact the Scottish Government. They will work with you to resolve it.

Any issues that arise should be reported to  for resolution.

The Scottish Government aim to resolve your complaint informally within five working days. If they can't resolve the issue, you can take your complaint to stage two of the complaints procedure.

If you are not satisfied: investigation

  • email:
  • write to Scottish Government, Complaints, 1E.10, St Andrew's House, Edinburgh, EH1 3DG

An Investigating Officer will be appointed to prepare a comprehensive report and, if we have got things wrong, will recommend improvements.

We will:

  • acknowledge receipt of your complaint within three working days
  • where appropriate, discuss the complaint with you to understand why you remain dissatisfied and what outcome you are looking for
  • give you a full response as soon as possible and within 20 working days.
    We will tell you if our investigation will take longer and will agree revised time limits with you. After we have fully investigated and you remain dissatisfied, you then have the option of asking the Scottish Public Service Ombudsman (SPSO) to investigate your complaint.

Independent investigation of your complaint: ombudsman

The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) is the final stage for complaints about public services in Scotland and may be able to independently take up a complaint on your behalf. The Ombudsman will normally only be able to act if you have followed the steps above.

To find out about the Ombudsman's work, visit the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman website, or write to the office at: Freepost SPSO (this is all you need write on the envelope, and you do not need to use a stamp).



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