As you may beware the national living wage increases on the 1st of April, if you employ staff for your family member through a direct payment it is important that their hourly rate is at least £11.44. We contacted Essex County Council on behalf of our families as they were worried that there wasn’t enough money in their budget to cover the increase. Please see below the communication they have asked us to share:

ECC ( Essex County Council ) would like to remind all Direct Payment recipients that the National Living Wage will increase to £11.44 on the 1st of April 2024.  If your Personal Assistant is being paid below this hourly rate, from the first of April you will need to increase your Personal Assistant’s (PA) salary to at least £11.44.

ECC are currently processing increases to personal budget to make sure there is enough in your account to cover the PAs salary plus all the other costs you need to pay like national insurance, pension and insurance (known as on-costs).  This may not be in your account by the 1st of April but it will be backdated to this date so no need to worry if you don’t see the increase immediately.  You will receive an individual letter soon to confirm this is happening for your account.

If you believe you do not receive enough funds into your DP account to cover this increase and don’t receive a letter please contact ECC on and they will contact you to resolve this.  It would be really helpful if you could provide the following information:

The person who the DP is for

Their ID number begins 5000 or a date of birth

Total number of hours PA(s) work each week.  This will help calculate the change required

Please make the subject of the email “PA uplift”