Covid-19 has revealed just how much we rely on our nation’s social care workers and the risks that they take to do their job.
As heartening as it is that the Government recognised social care workers as key workers, they deserve more pay. Few get above the national living wage.
We call on Government to ensure social care workers are paid a minimum of the Real Living Wage of £9.50 per hour (£10.85 in London).
The Scottish Government has recently worked with local government to seal a deal where all social care key workers now receive the Real Living Wage. We want this to be implemented throughout the UK.
The salary that social care workers receive is determined by an hourly rate that local authorities give the care providers. The calculation below illustrates that it is not enough to pay the Real Living Wage.
The all-party Health & Social Care committee report October 2020 ‘Social care: funding and workforce‘, calculated that the Government needs to invest £7.9bn into social care, and urges the Government to ensure care workers are paid the real living wage.
What can you do to support our care workers?
Email your MP and ask them to support our cause. Use this template, but you can personalise it to tell your story – heartfelt emails work best. Explain why social care workers deserve better. Click this link to find out who your MP is and their email address. Or you can ask for a meeting with your them to discuss this issue.
More information, links and resources
The Real Living Wage was calculated by the Real Living Wage Foundation, as the minimum hourly rate is people need to live on.
The UK Homecare Association calculates in 2020/21 that the minimum hourly price to effectively cover the costs of social care should be £20.69. Read report.
The Health Foundation – The Social Care Funding Gap
The Fawcett Society published research and found that the majority of the public agree that social care workers are undervalued and they support higher pay for care workers.
- 72% of the public think care workers are underpaid for the work they do.
- Three in four people say carers should get the Real Living Wage
Kate Allen, Autism at Kingwood Chief Executive says:
“Care providers like us have held a critical role in keeping the country and some of its most vulnerable people safe. We are used to working within extreme financial constraints, and are experts in efficiencies and doing more for less. However, now there can be no less. Years of responding to financial pressures whilst continuing to not only meet needs but drive up quality, have resulted in there being ‘no fat left to trim’.
But not only is there no fat left to the trim, there is nothing left to pay our frontline key workers the rate of pay that no-one can deny they deserve. As we approached April 2020 there was no local government funds to offer a cost of living pay increase to staff. As we progress through 2020, with the uncertainty of Covid-19, there is little chance of getting sufficient funds to offer a pay increase to staff. Despite them literally placing their lives at risk to fulfil their role to the charity and society, there is no capacity to reward them.
Our response to the crisis must match our values as a country and our hopes for a more equal and compassionate society.”
In July 2020, the Government announced a pay rise to some public sector workers – but it left adult social care workers on the side-lines.
In April 2020, the Scottish Government sealed a deal with local government and adopted the Real Living Wage for all social care key workers. We want this to be implemented throughout the UK.
The Local Government Association statement on post COVID-19 NHS care and the future of service delivery in the House of Commons 24 June 2020: “We remain concerned that the Government may see social care as secondary to the NHS, and exists only to mitigate pressures faced by the health service. Social care deserves parity of esteem with the NHS, in order to best serve all those who work in it or use services to support their independence and wellbeing.”
The Local Government Association Business Plan 2019-22: “We will continue to lobby for the short, medium and long-term financial sustainability of adult social care and support that is fit for the future. We will press for real change in the funding of adult social care, arguing that all options, including national taxation, should be considered. Read Business Plan.
The Skills for Care 2019 report ‘The state of the adult social care sector and workforce in England’ found that even with the introduction of the National Living Wage, care workers in the bottom 10% of pay distribution. Report in full.
Read and share this poem by a care worker ‘I’m a Key Worker Now’