Care England is calling on the government to reward the adult social care workforce for its work on the frontline of the UK’s response to coronavirus.
This follows the Scottish Government’s recent announcement a one-off payment of £500 for Scotland’s health and care staff. While the Welsh government previously pledged to pay care workers in July.
In its letter to the secretary of state for health and social care, Care England outlined that it was both willing and able to work with the government to craft such solutions in the coming weeks and months.
Professor Martin Green OBE, chief executive of Care England, said: ‘The Prime Minister and others in the government have frequently paid tribute to care workers, who have been at the front line of the UK’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘Therefore, this week, we wrote to the Secretary of State to urge him to engage with the important issue of rewarding the adult social care workforce. This is interlinked with the need for the government to fund the recent increases in the National Living Wage.
‘The need to reward social care workers is accentuated when we consider the Chancellor’s recent pledge to increase the pay of NHS nurses.
‘A failure to reward the adult social care workforce will only further the perception that social care is the poor relation of the NHS. Whilst any such strategy should reward both care and auxiliary staff alike as both are fundamental to care services.’
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said, while the government does not set the levels of pay for care workers, it is committed to raising the profile of the social care sector.
‘We are incredibly grateful for all the hard work and dedication shown by social care staff in helping us fight this global pandemic and encourage anyone who is interested to explore the range of opportunities there are to work in the sector.
‘Supporting and protecting care home staff and residents is our priority and the government has made £4.6 billion available to councils in England so they can address pressures on local services caused by the pandemic, including in adult social care, on top of a £1.1bn Infection Control Fund and free PPE supply for care homes.
‘While the government is committed to raising the profile of our social care sector, we do not set the levels of pay for care workers – local authorities work with care providers to determine a fair rate of pay based on local market conditions.’
This comes after a Survation poll commissioned by Citizens UK revealed that eight in 10 people back increased investment in social care to fund a pay rise for care workers.
On the subject of the fairest way to fund such an investment in social care, half of all respondents said they preferred taxes on wealth paid by either individuals or companies (49%).
Citizens UK’s executive director, Matthew Bolton, said: ‘Care workers are battling a rising tide of high rents, growing bills and a heavy workload,’ said
‘We’re appealing to Boris Johnson’s government and social care providers to do the right thing and make the investment needed to pay care workers the real living wage.’
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