• This project by the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) sought to identify how COVID-19 related policy has impacted the adult social care workforce. 
  • The Health Foundation commissioned this work from the IES as part of a programme of work to better understand the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and government policy on the social care sector and its workforce.
  • With unprecedented focus on the adult social care sector and high mortality rates, this report comes at a key time to provide insight into a highly scrutinised sector and support the improvement of health and care outcomes.  

The Institute for Employment Studies (IES) is an independent, international centre of research and consultancy. The Health Foundation commissioned IES in June 2020 to carry out research and produce a report on how government COVID-19 policy may have impacted the adult social care workforce. 

This comes at a time when adult social care has seen its role and significance highly scrutinised, with an increased level of interest and concern around the sector. Social care workers have been at the forefront of the COVID-19 response and are one of the occupational groups at highest risk of COVID-19 mortality.

Report: Potential impact of COVID-19 government policy on the adult social care workforce 

The report focuses specifically on government policy which is likely to impact the workforce. This includes policy areas such as Test and Trace, the Action Plan for Adult Social Care, Statutory Sick Pay and the Care Home Support Package. The report aims to provide clarity and understanding of a poorly understood sector and promote behaviours and outcomes that could protect both workers and service users, particularly through Test and Trace. 

Key findings include: 

  • The adult social care workforce is diverse and fragmented, working in a complex sector with multiple models of ownership and ‘employment’, making it more challenging to develop and implement policies for the sector as a whole.  

  • Policies and government guidance introduced during the pandemic have been rushed and, as a result, are fragmented and lack clarity.  

  • The biggest concerns for adult social care workers are getting COVID-19, passing on the virus to family and friends and being able to survive on Statutory Sick Pay.  

  • More research needs to be carried out into the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on the adult social care workforce including in communication and implementation of future policies.

You might also like...


Webinar: Build back fairer: Inequalities and COVID-19 in England


To launch Build Back Fairer: the COVID-19 Marmot Review, the Health Foundation and the UCL Institute...

Press release

Tracing positive COVID-19 cases and their contacts less successful in more deprived areas, new analysis reveals

Press release

New Health Foundation analysis reveals that tracing positive COVID-19 cases and their contacts is...


Surviving COVID: Behind each statistic lies a human story


In this video, individuals and their families who have directly experienced the severe effects of...

Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101 copy

Get social

RT @AlexanderBryson: Our new @HealthFdn survey of social #caregivers records the impact #COVID19 has had on their #jobs, livelihoods and th…

Follow us on Twitter
Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101

Work with us

We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the Health Foundation has an important role to play.

View current vacancies
Artboard 101 copy 2

The Q community

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

Find out more