Direct Payments in the Vale of Glamorgan

SSP Enhancement Scheme 

Welsh Government has now made available monies via the COVID Hardship fund to support care workers who may be required to self-isolate due to the impact of COVID. 

The Statutory Sick Pay Enhancement Scheme supports care workers who only get statutory sick pay (SSP) when absent or are not eligible for SSP. It provides funding to allow employers to pay eligible workers at full pay if they can’t work due to COVID-19. The purpose of the fund is help manage the spread of infection. 

The scheme will operate from 1st November 2020 until 31 March 2021. 

Full details and instructions on how to claim will be sent by post from Vale of Glamorgan council, more information on the scheme can be found at 

Additional declaration forms can be downloaded from here. 

or requested via by email to [email protected] 


The information covered is:

Clarity of Social Distancing, Shielding and Self-Isolation

General Resources

Risk Assessment Tools

Good Hygiene Practices

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

COVID-19 Symptom Tracker

COVID-19 Testing

Letter to Carers from the Welsh Government

Employers Liability Insurance

Employee Assistance Program


Clarity of Self-Isolation, Shielding and Social Distancing


You must self-isolate and PAs must not come to work, if they have the following most common symptoms of COVID-19. These are the recent onset of: 

  • new continuous cough - this means coughing a lot, for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours. If you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual,
  • high temperature (above 37.8 °C) - where you feel hot to touch on your chest or back,
  • loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you have noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.

Anyone with a suspected COVID-19 should not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. They should only contact NHS 111 if they feel they cannot cope with their symptoms at home, their condition gets worse, or their symptoms do not get better after seven days. Only call 999 if you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, do not call 999 just because you are on-hold to 111.  111 lines are busy, but you will get through after a wait.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 however mild, you are sick and must self-isolate. You should stay at home for 10 days from when your symptoms started. After 10 days:

  • If there is no high temperature, you no longer need to self-isolate.
  • If there remains a high temperature, you should continue to self-isolate until your temperature returns to normal.
  • A cough can last for several weeks after the infection has gone but this does not require continuation of self-isolation after 10 days.

If you live with someone who has symptoms, you will need to self-isolate at home and not leave the house for 14 days.

  • The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill even if others household members starts displaying symptoms.
  • If you get symptoms within the 14 days you need to stay at home for 10 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14-day isolation period.
  • If you do not get symptoms, you can stop self-isolating and return to work after 14 days.

Click here for Self-isolation: stay at home guidance for households with possible coronavirus.

Social Distancing

Social distancing is about limiting face-to-face interactions. If you are over 70 years old (regardless of medical conditions) or under 70 with an underlying health condition listed in the government guidance, ‘Social Distancing for everyone in Wales’ here you should take social distancing measures as outlined in the guidance. You should work from home where possible, avoid non-essential use of public transport and stay more than 2 metres/6 feet away from people.

If you employ a Personal Assistant (PA) you are required to take all reasonable measures to ensure the 2 metre/6 feet social distancing where possible. Please read this guidance on social distancing which contains a template Risk Assessment – click here  


Some conditions put people at even higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and these are called ‘extremely vulnerable’ people. If you fall within this category, you should take more stringent measures (‘shielding’) and you will also receive a letter from the government advising you to shield for 12 weeks. This means staying in your home, not going out at all whether for shopping, leisure or medicine. Do not have any visitors, except people who provide you with essential care. Social distancing should also be carried out where possible. The criteria for ‘extremely vulnerable’ can be found here.  You are advised to shield for 12 weeks.

Importance guidance for care workers on delivering care to individuals who are shielding or where a member of the individual’s household is shielding can be found here.

General Resources

For general advice and links to government resources - click here

Risk Assessment Tools

The All Wales COVID-19 Workforce Risk Assessment Tool has been introduced to the NHS and social care. It is a two-stage risk assessment, which is suitable for use for all staff who are vulnerable or at risk of contracting coronavirus, including people from BAME backgrounds. It has been designed to be a sensitive and supportive process. People can complete the self-assessment and then have a supportive and structured conversation with their line manager/employer to discuss their level of risk to put in place actions to ensure they are protected as far as possible. These may include additional protection, changing working practices or working from home. Please click here for more information.

The Risk Assessment Tool form is available here. 

A Social Distancing Risk Assessment is available here. 

Good Hygiene Practices

All care workers coming to an individual’s home should wash their hands and exposed forearms upon arrival and leaving an individual’s house, and often while they are there. They should use soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser. The appropriate hand washing technique is available here.

Additionally, they should:

  1. Minimise the time they spend in shared spaces such as kitchens, bathrooms and sitting areas with the individual and keep shared spaces well ventilated.
  2. Aim to keep 2 metres away from the individual, if this is feasible.
  3. Make sure they use separate towels from the individual for hand-hygiene purposes.
  4. Cover their mouth and nose with a tissue or their sleeve (not their hands) when they cough or sneeze and the wash their hands immediately.
  5. Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash hands afterwards.
  6. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home.
  7. Not visit or provide care if they are unwell.

Where PAs support individuals with laundry:

  • Do not shake laundry (minimises the likelihood of dispersing virus into the air)
  • Items should be washed as normal, in accordance with manufacturer instructions
  • Dirty laundry that has been in contact with a symptomatic/confirmed COVID-19 case can be washed with other people’s items
  • Items heavily soiled with bodily fluids such as vomit or diarrhoea, or items that cannot be washes would be disposed of, with the owner’s consent. All soiled items should be placed in rubbish bags and tied securely. This can be put out for general waste collection but should not be put until at least 72 hours after the last item was added.

More information on protecting extremely vulnerable (shielding) people is available here and here.

COVID-19 Symptom Tracker

It is clear that data and intelligence is key in the country’s efforts to tackle the pandemic. A number of organisations, including the Welsh Government and NHS Wales, are supporting the COVID-19 Symptom Tracker App that has been developed by Kings College London and healthcare science partners. Please download the app (here) and log daily symptoms to help build a clearer picture of how the virus is affecting people. The app is for everyone, not just those who are experiencing symptoms. It only takes a few seconds of your time each day. Over 38,000 people in Wales have already signed up to the app, but we need as many as possible to make the data most useful.  

Letter to Carers from the Welsh Government

The Minister and Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services recognises the all-important care carers deliver to people of all ages across Wales. Please click here to read their letter.

Employers Liability Insurance

Employers can view comprehensive guidance from Mark Bates Ltd, employer’s liability insurance provider here

For local lockdown guidance for each local authority - click here

Employee Assistance Program

A Welsh Government-funded employee assistance programme (EAP) will be in place from 4 December, offering a range of well-being support to those employed in the social care workforce in the private and voluntary sectors in Wales, including personal assistants. (We would encourage all those employed social care workers who already have access to existing EAPs to continue using them).

The EAP will be offered by Care First who employ professionally qualified counsellors and information specialists. They are experienced in helping people deal with all kinds of practical and emotional issues related to well-being, family matters, relationships, debt management, the workplace, and much more.

To help people better understand the services on offer, there will be a webinar on the 2 December 2020 at 3.30pm (for an hour including an opportunity to ask questions). This webinar is open to all those employed in social care in the private and voluntary sectors in Wales. The link to book a place on the webinar is


Here you will find useful information and links around the Direct Payment Scheme in the Vale of Glamorgan.

If you are personal assistant working for a direct payment service user in the Vale of Glamorgan this handbook will provide you with a summary of working conditions and policies affecting your employment.

The Employer Toolkit below is designed to help you support your Personal Assistants to gain the skills they need to carry out their roles effectively. It also aims to assist you with your responsibilities as an employer to support your Personal Assistants’ learning and personal development.


Training Course available for Personal Assistants who are looking to enhance their career in the caring profession.

The local Authority can provide free learning resources, examples are:-

  • POVA
  • Manual Handling
  • First Aid

Please speak to your employer if you wish to attend a training course.

Useful Links:

Local authority contact

Vale of Glamorgan


Local Authority Direct Payments Web Page

Social Services Direct Payments Team

Tel: 01446 725100


Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS)

Aims to improve organisations and working life through better employment

relations. They help with employment relations by supplying up-to-date information, independent advice and high quality training, and working with employers and employees to solve problems and improve performance.

Free advice is available from:

Telephone 08457 47 47 47

Minicom 08456 06 16 00

0300 3033444

Disability Wales provide useful information about rights, social model of disability and independent living

Telephone: 029 20887325

Learn from Learning

A free comparison website providing information about a range of learning available. It includes an online evaluation tool to help you manage your learning and make sure you are getting the best value for money.

Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) improves the lives of people who use care services by sharing knowledge about what works. They have a range of information, guides, e learning material and films on a variety of useful topics.

Telephone: 020 7535 0900

Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA)

Telephone: 0800 2888 329

Apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (settled and pre-settled status)

Stay in the UK after it leaves the EU ('settled status'): step by step

EU Settlement Scheme: Employer Toolkit

Telephone: 0300 1237 379