Create a clear pay structure for care workers and personal assistants that outlines pay scales, terms and conditions and is standardised across the care sector. Create consistent banding, similar to within the NHS, with roles paid the same across health and social care and based on the skills and responsibilities needed in the role. Create a board to regularly review pay and benefits in different roles within the care sector. The pay structure should include standardised routes for progression, alongside training in essential skills needed for care work. Like nursing, this allows organisations to track who has what skills and training and for staff to see future opportunities. Include progression into more senior roles for people doing the day to day job who have deep knowledge of a certain area, for example, dementia care or end of life care. Make sure pay scales reflect this added knowledge and expertise so people are paid fairly for this.
No mention of level/amount of pay in relation to cost of living. Too many people working in this sector get paid less than it costs to live, relying on food banks & the like. It’s a national disgrace. Pay also needs to be higher as post Brexit there is no pool of workers from Eastern Europe to draw upon.
This feels really important in recognising this as the vital profession it is. It will help reward consistent best practice and encourage carers to stay in the workforce as they’ll have something to aim and grow towards, as in other professions. This feels vital.
Even bolder, how about we legislate to make care providers co-operatives so carers share in profits?
Abuse of the system and poor quality work just to conform with the requirements for citizenship
Pay, grades, levels, and progression, should be available as public information from an easily accessible website. Pay scales should be shown in comparison to other profession to demonstrate if a living wage is paid.
The amount of money in the sector has attracted big business and shareholders rather than mutuals who will always want to make profits. Investment into new build care homes is made but then the building is rented from developers whose ownership and shareholders are usually the same as the care providers. They will complain about the amount they’re paid by the Local Authorities for care packages which is sometimes 3x the hourly rate of their care staff. Privately paying residential care customers subsidise the local authority funded customers paying hundreds of pounds a week more. The average weekly residential fee can be £1500+ The funding structure needs to be sorted out top down and, although I agree that some homes are now like 4 /5 star hotels, the important bit, the actual care provided is cut to the bone by using formulas based on the care needs and number of residents, which can mean a nursing unit is regularly staffed by a registered nurse and 2 care staff for 20+ residents.
It all comes down to the way the sector is paid for. The cost of employing, developing and retaining colleagues by better pay structures and benefits etc will need to be paid for. Businesses /shareholders will not take a hit to their profits so fees will increase for private and Local Authority/NHS paying clients. As with most caring professions the sector relies on and takes advantage of the ‘carers’, professional and non-professional who dedicate their lives to the sector. The amount of unpaid hours that I see these people provide to ensure that the vulnerable are looked after is considerable, and provided by colleagues who regularly rely on food banks to feed their families because of being on the minimum wage. Why don’t the majority move to better paying work? They stay in these jobs because they are the type of people you would want looking after your loved ones and are taken advantage of because of this.
The pay structure is the main issue here, carers can earn more filling shelves in Sainsbury’s. The main problem is that most care is delivered by agencies. These agencies have a profit margin as their “on cost”, this is money lost to the social care system. The cost of delivering care by the local authorities is excessive, by being top heavy with tiers of management. The way to overcome this is to pay the user direct increasing the payments by using the savings made by the above. These payments should be made as a WAGE, not as a benefit, this will bring users into line with the rest of society. Paying the user direct would be more cost effective than the present system, and allow the user to pay their carers a better rate of pay. It would also cut out the present outdated system, plus it would give the user more control over who delivers their care, and when that care is delivered. The current Direct Payment system has little flexibility and to much control by the establishment.
Like we saw in the pandemic — paid carers were rewarded with supermarket and transport incentives and applauded meanwhile unpaid carers and their cared for persons were left at home without services and totally neglected for two years. I do agree that paid carers ought to be rewarded for their dedication and service but not at the expense of those of us who really are the backbone of this profession — we the UNPAID carers. I am solidly against more outsourcing of services. They do not provide value for money for service users or tax payers. Like the NHS the future care service must be nationalised and local government must be held accountable for its success and failures. However I do agree in principle there must be a formal pay structure. It just must be in the public sector and not in the private sector.
This will need to be a statuary requirement, perhaps added to minimum wage legislation. I can't see the current government wanting to implement this. However, this is needed to attract the right calibre people into the profession.
This idea is perfect in itself, but as usual is dependent on the willingness of governing bodies to provide adequate funding and controls that are exercised primarily for the good of the clients they serve. Privately-run care agencies are raking in vast profits and many of them provide minimal staff wages, training and terms of employment (holiday pay, sickness pay etc). I would like to see the bulk of care provision returned to Local Authorities, with the necessary funding provided, as they are best placed to serve their communities. I do not consider that any kind of care work can operate in the interests of its clients if its primary motive is profit at the top.
Agreed, this is very important. I can't comment on the 'similar to within the NHS' as I am not familiar with that system. The concept that these folks should be treated well & renumerated fairly for the work they do is a basic. Ideally & I appreciate this is a separate point but it would make sense to me that the whole sector be non-profit.
The challenge is and has long been the selective blindness of every shade of Government for years. Where in the recent hustings was there any meaningful mention of carers/careworkers/the growing number and increased longevity of older citizens in our society? We are not a militant society (praise be) but without more hard-hitting campaigns I fear that government will continue to prefer blindness to action on health and care.
This is of course the dream scenario regarding all aspects of care, and one to which we should all aspire (we all grow old, any one of us could become disabled and many of us have elderly and disabled in our families. We are all stakeholders)
Private companies will always see profit before staff pay. How would the government be able to influence pay in the private sector? During the pandemic huge amounts of money have been spent on uplifting the rates paid to care companies none of which has been filtered down to staff. Pay review bodies don’t work in the public sector, we have seen this in nhs, teachers, etc,
The challenge is to convince the Government of the day to invest in care without seeing it as an opportunity to enrich a minority of CEOs and shareholders. They need to be convinced that quality care has an intrinsic value at all levels of society, and is the hallmark of a decent, compassionate country, therefore worthy of investment.
Cap the profits of care companies. How about a windfall tax on the big conglomerates. Also need to be mindful that smaller companies are really struggling at the moment as they are paying more to attract staff which eats into profits and making many businesses unviable.
This is critical to the success of transforming care. It has to go alongside cultural change at all levels.
Standardised rates and banding is a great idea, but has to come alongside significant investment, otherwise there is a risk that providers will pull out (if you have the same budget from a commissioner but a higher wage bill, it quickly becomes impossible to deliver).
I believe that creating pay and progression structure helps in retaining staff. However, I also believe that people are more aware about climate change and offering paid days to help the community in other ways could also help in retaining staff.
This doesn't explicitly say 'Pay carers considerably more than they are currently paid'. It's meaningless without that.
This is small scale tinkering, not the sort of structural reform that would make a difference. As others have said, the issue of who owns the care companies needs to be addressed. There should be no rent-seeking, with private companies extracting profits from the care system.
Back to group
Back to group
This content is created by the open source Your Priorities citizen engagement platform designed by the non profit Citizens Foundation