Cari looks at the impact that the recent classification of ASHE 6115 will have.
It is well known amongst lawyers dealing with catastrophic injury claims that periodical payments will often be used instead of lump sum payments in respect of future special damages, such as care and case management costs.
Following the outcome of Thompstone, ASHE 6115 has been traditionally used as the appropriate index but following recent reclassification careful consideration will need to be given to which index should be used in the future.
On the 22 November 2012 the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published the 2012 figures for ASHE 6115 but they are not provided in the main body of the ASHE data because ASHE 6115 has been reclassified and split into two new Standard Occupational Categories (SOC’s).
In the November 2012 issue of APIL PI Focus, Dr Wass and Richard Cropper comment upon the reclassification by the ONS which splits SOC 2000 code 6115 (care assistants and home carers) into two SOC 2010 codes;
- 6145 – care workers and home carers, and
- 6146 – senior care workers.
The intention behind these two new codes was to create a category for senior care workers supervising other in a residential care setting. Read the article: A ‘senior moment’? The impact of reclassification on periodical payment orders.
There is, however, difficulty in identifying which group a carer falls into as it clearly depends on the definition used for ‘senior care worker’. In reality, the number of carers falling into the senior category is probably too small to pass the statistical reliability test.
In their article, Richard Cropper and Dr Wass conclude by saying that they see “no good reason not to continue to apply ASHE (2000) 6115. If evidence were to come to light that clearly illustrated that ASHE 6145 was a more precise measure of the earnings of home carers and the courts endorsed such evidence, or if the ONS stopped publishing data for ASHE (2000) 6115, there would be reclassification under the Schedule to the Order in any event.”
The Office of National Statistics will continue to publish SOC 6115 for the foreseeable future as they acknowledge the importance of it.
It has also been recognised by NHSLA that ASHE 6115 is still the most appropriate index for periodical payment regimes for home based care and case management and so for the foreseeable future it looks as though ASHE 6115 will continue to be used in the majority of PPO settlements involving claims for future care and case management.