ADASS President David Pearson said: “We are aware that HMRC have undertaken some investigations into care providers who fail to pay their staff the legally minimum wage. ADASS does not condone law-breaking, and it is the responsibility of employers to arrange pay conditions that are within the law.”

“However,” he went on, “the Care Act, which comes into force this April, requires local authorities to develop a high quality, improving and sustainable market. This means one in which staff are paid and trained appropriately by providers, and where local authorities who buy the care, understand the costs. It also means that local authorities will have to be assured that staff are paid at least the minimum wage.”

“We all know that better quality care comes from better trained and remunerated staff. And better quality care is something we all want. These judgements have to be made, though, in a context in which adult social care services have had £3.5 billion stripped from their budgets in the past four years – a 26.5 per cent.

“Despite this, we are resolutely focused on the fact that we need higher rates of pay for the care workforce, more stability, and more, quality care. These things, which we all desire, come at a cost. It is up to the nation as a whole to decide whether it wishes to meet those costs, or not.”