More than half of frontline care workers are earning less than the real Living Wage, according to a new study.
The study – What happens after the clapping finishes? – by the Resolution Foundation warns that the general public are still unaware of the ‘sheer scale’ of low pay and job insecurity in the sector.
It adds that ensuring all workers receive at least the real Living Wage of £9.30 per hour outside London and £10.75 inside the capital should have been a ‘priority long before any of us had heard of coronavirus or clapped on a Thursday evening’.
‘Putting this right now is the very least we can do,’ the report states.
According to the study, there are approximately 900,000 people working in frontline care roles in this country as their main job and another 100,000 doing care work as a second job.
It adds England is the worst offender in the UK, with almost two thirds (61%) of care workers being paid below the real Living Wage, while in Scotland that figure is just 43%.
In Wales, just over half (56%) of care workers are paid below the real Living Wage and in Northern Ireland, 55% are paid below that amount.
The report also quotes a recent Labour Force Study, which suggests that one in 10 frontline care staff are on zero-hour contracts, which is much higher than the overall UK average of one in 40.
‘There is currently a growing debate about the social changes that will be needed in the wake of the coronavirus,’ the report states.
‘Some of these are long-term and complex – not least a long-awaited overhaul of the funding system for social care in England.
‘But others, like ensuring care workers receive a decent wage in the here and now, not technically especially challenging.
‘We are talking about relatively simple choices that require political resolve and the requisite funding.’
Earlier this month, the Scottish Government announced all social care workers in Scotland are to receive a 3.3% pay rise, backdated to 1 April.
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