The Labour Party has called on the government to guarantee all social care workers be paid at least the Real Living Wage.
Speaking on Saturday (19 September), the opposition party’s deputy leader, Angela Rayner said it was ‘unconscionable’ that the average wage for a care worker is just £8.10 an hour, while half don’t even earn the real living wage.
Ms Rayner attacked the government for ‘empty gestures’ that ‘don’t pay the rent or put the food on the table’.
The Real Living Wage is set at £9.30 per hour outside London and £10.75 inside the capital.
‘We can’t clap our key workers and then abandon them,’ she added. ‘We can’t go back to business as usual, where the very same people who have helped to get our country through this crisis are still underpaid and undervalued.
‘After all their sacrifice and bravery, the very least that our care workers deserve is a pay rise.’
In May, the charity Citizens UK launched a campaign for all key workers to be paid a real Living Wage, which includes an online petition to adequately fund social care staff.
And in April, the Resolution Foundation published a report which revealed that more than half of frontline care workers are earning less than the real Living Wage.
Commenting on the Labour deputy leader’s speech, Unison assistant general secretary Christina McAnea said: ‘Care workers perform skilled word day-in, day-out, looking after the most vulnerable people in society.
‘Their value has to be reflected in their pay. They must be given at least the real living wage, with full pay if they’re off sick.’
Ms Rayner also hit back at comments made by health minister Lord Bethell last week that he could not commit to ‘a social care plan before the end of the year’.
‘On his first day in office the Prime Minister promised to fix the crisis in social care with a plan he said he had already prepared. Now it turns out that it won’t be published until next year,’ she said.
‘He must publish his plan to fix the crisis in social care without any more delays, and that plan must guarantee all care workers are paid at least the real living wage.’
Photo Credit – Vjkombajn (Pixabay)