RNHARegistered Nursing Home Association
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the new law on discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and when does it come into force?
Televisions in Care Homes
What licence do I need for televisions in residents’ bedrooms?
You need, and are responsible for getting a “TV Licence (including colour) Accommodation for Residential Care Composite Form”. This is usually known as an ARC Licence.
• What does it cost?
The cost for each television included on the ARC Licence is currently £5. Where a resident is aged 75 or over at the time of the application/renewal they must be included on the form although no fee will be charged.
Where a resident will be 75 within one month of the application/renewal date, they will be entitled to the free licence, and so no charge will be levied.
There is no registered blind concession.
• Televisions in residents communal rooms.
TV sets in communal areas used by residents etc must have a full TV licence at £139.50. One licence will cover all such sets in one building.
• Televisions in staff rooms or staff accommodation.
Any other rooms provided for accommodation other than for residents require full TV licences. This includes staff accommodation or staff rooms.
• Rooms for respite and intermediate care.
Rooms provided for respite care or intermediate care must each have a full individual licence because the ARC and over 75 concession apply only to those who are ordinarily resident in the care home. A person receiving respite or intermediate care does fall into this definition.
Where sets in such rooms are provided by the home, the home is responsible for the licence. If the set is brought in by the resident, the licence is their responsibility. Where the resident brings in the television, then they can transfer their licence for the period of their stay.
• Further information.
Call the Concessionary Licensing Centre on 0870 240 1291 for further advice on the ARC Licence and how to apply, or follow this link http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/information/residentialdirectors.jsp
The Smoking Ban
In England and Wales there has been a ban on smoking in public places. Its effect on nursing homes is:
Further guidance on the ban and how to implement and enforce it is available from
Information from CSCI realting to Care Homes can be found at http://www.csci.org.uk/professional/default.aspx?page=7847&key=
Preventing illegal working
Under s.8 Immigration and Asylum Act 1996, it is an offence to employ a person without the right to work, or to do work of the particular kind they are employed upon, in the UK. It is punishable by a fine of up to £5000 per illegal worker employed.
Employers can claim a statutory defence. This means that they took all reasonable steps to ensure that the employee could legally work for them. These steps were set out in Regulations. New Regulations will apply from 1ST May 2004 to employees who start work with an employer on or after 1ST May 2004. This includes workers who have been offered a post before this date, but who do not actually start work under their contract of employment until on or after 1ST May 2004.
Full information on this subject can be obtained by following this link: Click Here
Changes from 29TH February 2008
Under the Asylum, Immigration and Nationality Act 2006 new measures are being introduced to tackle illegal working. The statutory defence mentioned above remains, but the documentary checks needed to establish and retain the defence have changed. There are two lists of documents that an employer must check. Those from list A establish an ongoing ststutory defence. Those from list B only establish an ongoing defence if they are regularly rechecked. These documents will be those held by workers with a time-limited right to work.
There are new penalties being introduced for employers who employ illegal workers. These are:
These measures will apply to employees who commence work or are offered work on or after 29TH February 2008. If an offer of work is made before this date, but the employee doesn't take up their employment until or after 29TH February 2008, then the new rules on checking the legal status of the employee apply.
Full information can be obtained by clicking here
Draft employer guidance can be obtained by clicking here
Disposal of waste electrical and electronic equipment
What does it mean for my business?
Are there any exceptions to WEEE?
There are a number of exemptions, including infected medical equipment that is electrical or electronic. This is likely to fall into the category of hazardous waste. For more information follow this link: Click Here
For further information on WEEE, including disposal firms, follow this link: Click Here
Producers of this type of waste are now under a duty for the collection, treatment, recovery and environmentally sound disposal of waste electrical and electronic products. In practice you will need to arrange for disposal by a specialist firm.
What is waste electrical and electronic equipment?
For information on what equipment is included, follow this link: Click Here
Does the duty apply to my business?
The duty will apply where you are disposing of any electrical or electronic equipment that is included in the WEEE regulations. To find out if the equipment falls within the regulations follow the link above.
What must I do with waste electrical and electronic equipment, and who will pay for the disposal?
For information on this follow this link. Click Here
Where you wish to recruit or train a person from outside the European Economic Area, the potential employee will need a work permit. Information on these and how to obtain a work permit can be found at
Employment: Click Here
Training: Click Here
Overseas nurses in the UK
If you wish to recruit nurses from abroad the following link will lead you to comprehensive advice on doing so: Click Here
Can I make a deduction from wages for CRB/POVA Checks?
Provided the prospective employee and employer agree that the cost of a check should be paid for by deductions from the wages of the employee in the event of employment, then the deduction is counted towards the gross pay for the purposes of calculating if the national minimum wage is being paid by the employer to the employee.
Can I deduct the cost of uniforms from wages?
The cost of a uniform is a cost incurred in connection with a workers employment (in the context of a care home there are legislative requirements as to e.g. infection control). Therefore any deduction is not included in gross pay, for the purposes of calculating if a worker is being paid the minimum wage. Therefore if a deduction from wages is made for uniforms, the value of the wage must be at such a level that after the deduction is made the gross pay is still at the minimum hourly rate.
What happens if a deduction has taken a workers wage below the national minimum?
HM Customs and Revenue have the duty of enforcing the national minimum wage legislation. They have the power to require that a worker who was underpaid be paid a sum necessary to make up their pay to the minimum level. A failure to comply with the requirement can lead to a number of enforcement measures, including an enforcement notice, with the employer being sued on behalf of the employee if this is not complied with or a financial penalty being required to be paid for non-compliance (twice the hourly rate of the national minimum wage in force at the time of the penalty notice for each day that the failure to pay the national minimum wage has continued).
The National Minimum Wage
The National Minimum Wage is the lowest hourly rate than can be paid to any worker in the UK.
The rates from 1ST October 2009 until 30TH September 2010 will be:
· The main rate for workers aged 22 and over is £5.80 per hour.
· The development rate for 18-21 year olds is £4.83 per hour .
· The development rate for 16-17 year olds is £3.57 per hour .
From 1ST October 2010 the rates will be:
· The main rate for workers aged 22 and over is £5.93 per hour.
· The development rate for 18-21 year olds is £4.92 per hour .
· The development rate for 16-17 year olds is £3.64 per hour .
Failure to pay this can result in serious action against an employer, including paying a shortfall to an employee and fines.
For full information on the National Minimum Wage follow the links below
DTI website: Click Here
HM Revenue and Customs: Click Here
ACAS: Click Here
Enforcement policy for the National Minimum Wage: Click Here
The current guidance on legionella policy and control in care homes can be found via these links:
Essential information on legionella in residential accommodation: Click Here
Current Local Authority Circular detailing changes in guidance for prevention and control of legionella: Click Here
Further general information, including details of how to order the latest Approved Code of Practice: Click Here
How long must I keep records and do I need a destruction policy?
There are specified records about the care home and residents that must be retained by the care home for a period of three years from the date of the last entry in the particular record. The specified records are listed in Schedules 3 and 4 of the Care Homes Regulations 2001 as amended.
The limitation of legal proceedings legislation places a 6 year maximum period during which an action (either civil or criminal) can be brought before a court. This could apply to claims for damages made by a dissatisfied patient / relative arising out of the destruction of records.
Any policy on the retention and destruction of records needs to take into account both legal requirements and the logistics and costs of retaining records, certainly if any are to be retained beyond the legal limit.
What is the new law on discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and when does it come into force?
From April 30th 2007, new laws ban discrimination against people on the grounds of their sexual orientation in the provision of goods, facilities, services and the sale or letting of premises. These new laws extend protections already in place in the field of employment since 2003.
The unlawful acts are very similar to those in other areas of discrimination law. It will be unlawful to:
Lastly, any terms in contracts that result from or would lead to discrimination will be void. In some circumstances this could void an entire contract.
Follow these links to obtain further information on the new law
What are the Capital Limits and Personal Expense Allowance levels?
England and Northern Ireland
Lower Limit: £14250
Upper Limit: £23250
PEA: £22.30 per week
There is now a single limit of £22000. No-one with capital below that limit will be required to make a contribution.
The PEA is now £22.50
Updated Senior Care Worker Guidance 2008
The Border and Immigration Agency has issued updated guidance on Senior Care Workers, in order to resolve difficulties created by last years changes to the rules.
1) Senior Carer permit granted before 31ST December 2003 and still employed in UK and remains with current employer
2) Senior Carer permit granted before 31ST December 2003 and still in UK and needs to change employer
Applications for the exceptional extension should be made at least three months prior to the expiration of the original work permit.
The extension should give those senior carers still living and working in the UK the five years residence required to allow for an application for indefinite leave to remain.
Where applications for an extension where made between 1ST January 2008 and 28th January 2008 and were refused, an application for a review of the decision should be made. Otherwise, where the senior carer is still in the UK or has returned home, an new application for an extension will need to be made.
These arrangements will remain in force until Tier 2 of the Points Based Immigration System is introduced sometime in 2008. No definite date for this has yet been announced.
Further information is available by clicking here
The new RNCC flat rate payments
These changes took effect from 1ST April 2010. The rate will remain the same from 1ST April 2011.
The higher rate is £149.60 per week.
The standard rate is £108.70 per week.