On 22 November, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published the results of the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE). The data for “care workers, home carers and senior care workers” (ASHE 6115) used to calculate the annual increase of periodical payments for care and case management, is now contained in table 26. It was previously published in table 14.

The ONS have, however, used different methodology for calculating the 2011 first release and 2011 revised data. This means calculating any differential in the first release and revised data, as required by the formulae in the periodical payment order, is not possible. In previous years the differential between the first release and revised hourly rates has been minimal with the largest difference being 2 pence. This year the differential has been as high as 15 pence per hour at ASHE (70) from £9.32 to £9.17 as the ONS have used a different methodology. If the impact of the methodological change is not taken into account there will be a potential shortfall in a claimant's annual periodical payment.

The current periodical payment order may not resolve this issue. Accordingly, we are currently liaising with the ONS to explain the absence of the data and the impact it will have with a view to persuading the ONS to publish the revised data for 2011 based on the same methodology used when preparing the first release data for 2011. As things stand, the current ASHE data released last week cannot be used to calculate the annual increase in a claimant's periodical payment as the payment will be inaccurate. Once we have further information we will let you know.