The pandemic has shown just how much we rely on our nation’s 1.52m care workers and the risks they take to do their job. It has provided a focus on the incredible work they undertake in supporting vulnerable people to the highest of standards.
But care workers aren’t given the rate of pay that they deserve – despite them literally placing their lives at risk to fulfil their role to the people they support, their employer and to society. Few care workers get above the National Living Wage of £8.72 per hour.
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 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 pay care providers. For care provider charities like us, 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, reports and resources
18 March 2021. Parliamentary debate on ‘The Future of Social Care’ Watch here.
February 2021. The Government produced a long-awaited White Paper on NHS and Social Care Reform, with little mention of social care. Read here.
January 2021. The Government respond to the All Party Health and Social Care Committee report of October 2020. Read here.
October 2020. All-party Health & Social Care Committee report: ‘Social care: funding and workforce‘,
2020 The Health Foundation – The Social Care Funding Gap
2020. Social Care Institute for Excellence: Recommendations for the Future of Social Care Reform
2019/2020. CQC (Care Quality Commission) report: The State of Health Care and Adult Social Care in England
2020. Local Government Association: Adult Social Care – Seven Principles for Reform
The UK Homecare Association calculates that, in 2020/21 the minimum hourly price to effectively cover the costs of social care should be £20.69. Read report.
The Real Living Wage is calculated by the Real Living Wage Foundation, as the minimum hourly rate is people need to live on.
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.
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.”