The provisional results of 2020’s Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), published annually by the Office of National Statistics, could have major implications for those receiving regular care.

While an across the board average annual salary increase of just 0.1% in the year to April 2020 – well below the CPI of 0.9% over the same period – will make depressing reading for most industries, there was better news for those working in the care sector, and by association significant news for those in receipt of income through a Periodical Payment Order.

Bucking the national trend, care workers saw a rise in the median hourly wage of 5.47%. Since the majority of PPOs are linked to the 80th percentile of the ASHE results, in practice that should result in a 5.31% increase in the care component of PPO payments when they next become due.

This healthy annual increase should certainly give cause to consider PPOs for your clients, particularly given the fact that next year seems highly likely to continue on the upwards trend. The latest survey was taken in April, before the full effects of covid had hit, but the care sector is one of few not to be adversely affected by Covid.

Although ONS statistics show that 22% of employees in the “care, leisure and other service occupations” category were furloughed in April, it seems a safe assumption that the majority of these are from the “leisure and service” side.

Care staff have, if anything, become even more crucial during the pandemic, with employers forced to acknowledge this in the package offered in order to attract and retain staff. The need for a more generous offering for staff seems likely to become even more essential now the UK has finally exited the EU, leading to a likely reduction in the pool of workers available to the care industry, which has historically relied heavily on EU immigrant labour, and consequent further salary, and PPO payment, increases.