Social care workforce crisis plummets for next generation

A new care report has revealed it could take 23 years for the government to provide social care support workers with fair pay.

Published in a report titled ‘Unfair to care’ this month, research conducted by Ipsos, a multinational market research and consulting firm, has displayed social workers are undervalued by their equivalents in the NHS.

shallow focus photography of red and white for hire signage

Following the spike in care vacancies – Skills for Care, a planning body for adult social care in England, have shown they have increased by 52% this year – the report has revealed the roots of the crisis: social care support workers are paid £8K less than people who do similar work to them in the NHS.

Within the NHS, band three healthcare assistants are displayed to need the same technical and emotional skills as social care workers, however they are paid £27K per year whereas social care support workers only receive £19K.

At current government rates of investment into the social care sector, it is estimated to take 23 years – an entire generation – for social workers to catch up financially.

Developed by Community Integrated Care, one of Britain’s biggest social care charities, the ‘Unfair to Care’ report displays professionals require a 41% pay rise.

The current cost-of-living crisis means many people are no longer able to accept a job in social care – a recent sector report displays 80% of providers believe their income will not fully cover wages for their staff – resulting in a talent drain causing 165,000 vacancies on any given day.

person holding black android smartphone

In October, the National Care Forum, a membership organisation for not-for-profit organisations in the care and support sector, discovered the average support worker in England receives a salary of £10.01 (outside of London), which is 89p below the Real Living Wage – the rate that is independently defined as the minimum for a reasonable quality of life.

Teresa Exelby, Chief People Officer at Community Integrated Care, said: ‘This current system serves no one. It is entirely wrong that this sector has 165,000 vacancies on any given day – significantly impacting the quality of life of people who should, rightly, expect reliable support built upon consistent relationships.

‘The social care sector has real headroom to be an even greater force for good – changing lives at scale, offering greater efficiencies for public spending, and investing in local communities, but without a stable workforce, we are unable to seize this initiative.

‘Change is possible, and it must come now. We understand that many sectors and industries – including the NHS – are calling for fair pay and this report does not seek to curtail or diminish their progress, but rather simply advocates for parity across these parallel sectors.

‘Now, in the midst of an unprecedented cost-of-living crisis, it is clearer than ever that this position is as untenable as it is immoral. We are calling on the Government to invest in social care now, to apply NHS terms and conditions in this parallel sector.’

The full report can be found here.

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo and Emil Kalibradov


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Help us break the news – share your information, opinion or analysis
Back to top