Social Care Regulation at Work

Social Care Regulation at Work


We undertake research for Wellcome Trust about the legal rules that govern the care and support that is provided in care homes and by homecare providers in England, Scotland and Wales. Our task is to assess whether these rules about care standards might be having an indirect effect on the quality of care workers’ jobs. To properly understand the effects of law, our research goes beyond what the legal rules say on paper, to look at how those rules are understood, used and applied in practice.

Our research started just as the coronavirus was beginning its international advance. We did not anticipate we would be looking at the legal rules in the context of a pandemic. However, we are ideally placed to report on what is happening to the legal regulation of care and support in care homes and homecare services as the crisis unfolds. This website is designed to report on the legal rules in England, Scotland and Wales that we think may have an impact on the quality of care workers’ jobs. They are organised across six topic areas:

Low pay and insecurity of work, Health and Safety, Fit and Proper Persons, Safeguarding, Staffing Levels, and Training and Supervision.

At the current time, it is especially important that people working in the care sector are aware of these rules. In response to COVID-19, the regulatory bodies with responsibility for investigation, reporting and prosecution have decided to stop routinely inspecting compliance with care standards rules. The legal responsibilities of care providers have not changed. However, a series of ad-hoc notices in response to COVID-19 have been issued by the Department of Health and Social Care. As our research advances, we will update this website and report on any relevant new rules that might emerge from these notices.

On 14th April we published our first report: Care workers’ perceptions of health and safety issues in social care during the COVID-19 pandemic. L. Hayes, A. Tarrant, H.Walters, University of Kent (2020).

In that report we make two recommendations. Firstly, we call on national and local governments to appoint care workers to problem-solving roles in respect of the use and distribution of PPE and the allocation of resources, including staffing resources. Secondly, we call on the UK government to take action to ensure care workers are paid their normal wages when they are self-isolating.

If you use any material from these web pages, we suggest this is cited as follows: 

Hayes, L., Tarrant, A. and Walters, H. (2020) Social Care Regulation at Work: Health & Safety: Wales. University of Kent. [Viewed date]. Available at: <>

This website is for informational purposes only. It does not constitute any form of legal advice and should not be treated as or relied upon for legal advice. If you require legal advice you should contact a qualified legal practitioner.

This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust. Grant Number: 210343/Z/18/Z