Discussing Minimum Wage in Care20 Mar, 20235 Minutes
Despite soaring levels of demand in the UK’s care industry, we are witnessing the highest-ev...
Despite soaring levels of demand in the UK’s care industry, we are witnessing the highest-ever reported rate of staff vacancies, with an increase of 52% this year to 165,000 vacancies in adult social care existing in England.
In the wake of the National Living Wage increase in April from £9.50 to £10.42, a spotlight is being shone on the low pay rates in the care industry and the effect this has had on staff retention.
We’re fortunate enough to already offer our staff over the National Living Wage as we currently offer all our carers, support workers and nurses a starting wage of £10.65, which can increase depending on the client, role type and time of booking. We’re intending on increasing this alongside the National Living Wage increase to show how much we value this skilled profession.
Care work requires a complex skillset and yet, it was suggested within research by a care provider in December, that care workers in England are paid, on average £8,000 a year less than NHS staff with the same skills. As a result, between 2020-2021 and 2021-2022, the vacancy rate for roles in social care rose from 7% to 10.7%. Equal pay that reflects the level of skill demonstrated by carers on a day-to-day basis is paramount to filling said vacancies.
Although we as a business are trying to combat this with our own staff, by offering pay above the minimum wage, we also want to highlight some of the many positives of working as a carer:
· Flexible working in line with your lifestyle – One of the biggest benefits of working in care is flexible hours, particularly when working with our team. You’re able to choose your shift patterns around your life, for childcare, studying for your qualifications or holiday breaks.
· Training and development opportunities – Employment in care often offers opportunities for further on-the-job training to develop your skill set. We similarly offer this for our employees, as we hold regular in-person training and handling courses each month.
· It’s an incredibly rewarding job - Your work is invaluable. Carers offer a service that supports and helps people to experience a better way of living, making a real difference in people’s daily lives, particularly when someone has complex care needs.
· Offering family members peace of mind – From visiting someone on a regular basis to offering round the clock live-in-care, a carer supports someone’s loved one when they may not be able to be there. The reassurance this provides is irreplaceable for families of those requiring care.
What we do want to emphasise though, is that while there are these benefits, reflecting the importance of this role through its pay is key to increasing interest in the industry. While we as a company will continue to do this for our staff, it is vital this is achieved obtainable for all carers.