I’m hoping that someone might give me a definitive answer to this one. I’m aware that under normal circumstances it is the employer’s responsibility but this is not always easy when we are talking about SDS and PAs.
We have a scenario where a PA has been employed for over 6 years by the employer with the understanding from the off that the purpose of the PA support would be to support the employer to get to the point of no longer needing that support. This point has now been reached which means the relationship has worked and a successful outcome has been achieved. The PAs role is due to end in the near future.
The problem now is that the employer is refusing to discuss a redundancy payment with the PA, from what I can gather it would appear that the PA employer does not have any money to pay this. The PA has tried to get the employer to speak to her social worker but the employer has refused to discuss the issue any further. The PA herself has tried to contact the social worker, who is aware of the situation, but the person is never available and never returns calls even when the PA requests a call back.
If the employer genuinely doesn’t have the funds to pay the redundancy who is responsible for this, the PA cannot be expected to leave with nothing??
Many thanks for the question on Redundancy. It might be worth me mentioning that we have an Article on Redundancy in the PA Employer and PA Handbook here: https://handbook.scot/article/redundancy/
There are a couple of things that the PA could do.
The PA Employer will have Employer Liability Insurance. They may have taken a policy that includes cover for redundancy to some level. So they could ask their employer to check this, as this might provide a substantial amount of the redundancy required.
Many Local Authorities have policies regarding the payment of redundancy costs for people receiving direct payments and employing their own PAs. It might be worth asking the local SDS Lead to see if they can provide any further information on this.
The updated SDS Statutory Guidance has a section on Redundancy that the PA can refer to. You can find the Guidance here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/statutory-guidance-accompany-social-care-self-directed-support-scotland-act-2013-2/
You can find the information on p.26
It does state for example:
‘The authority can allow SDS budgets to be used to meet redundancy costs where this is as a legitimate employment cost and where proper notice is given’
It might be that the PA Employer and Social Worker are worried about how redundancy costs can be met, but if they had the chance to talk through things further, it might be possible to work out a plan of action.
I think a reasonable way forwards (assuming that no surplus has built up and the account is bare) would be to spread the cost of the statutory redundancy rights over a monthly schedule, (say three months or whatever) and to inform the local authority that you will continue to draw the payments until that has ceased, giving them a clear statement in writing. After all these are costs directly attributable to their employment - much as you pay sick pay and holidays.