Care England calls for parity of esteem for adult social care staff

Prof. Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England

Care England, the largest and most diverse representative body for independent providers of adult social care, has today called for adult social care staff to be placed on an equal footing with NHS staff.

Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, says:
The adult social care workforce is our biggest resource. The lack of government action has had an inevitable consequence on the nature of employment opportunities within the sector and has hampered providers’ efforts to recruit and retain staff, as evidenced by the 52% increase in vacant posts in the sector over the past year. This has not only affected the overall financial attractiveness of the adult social care sector as an entity, but also providers’ ability to compete with the NHS. As a first step, Care England suggests the Government accepts the recommendations of the Low Pay Commission for the 2023 rates, however, this increase must be properly funded. Simply applying National Living Wage inflation without appropriate funding undermines the ability of providers to aid workforce pressures, especially given the fact that providers are having to pay increases above the National Living Wage annual uplifts as a means of recruiting and retaining staff.”

The government has accepted the recommendations from the independent NHS pay review bodies in full – GOV.UK.

All NHS staff under the remit of this year’s pay review will receive a pay rise. Over one million staff under the Agenda for Change contract, including nurses, paramedics and midwives, will benefit from a pay rise of at least £1,400 this year backdated to April 2022. This is on top of the 3% pay rise they received last year, despite a wider public sector pay pause.

This means that the lowest earners, such as porters and cleaners, will see a 9.3% increase in their basic pay this year, compared with last year. The average basic pay for nurses will increase from around £35,600 as of March 2022 to around £37,000 and the basic pay for newly qualified nurses will increase by 5.5%, from £25,655 last year to £27,055.

Martin Green continues:
“Both the Scottish and Welsh governments have provided bonuses for social care staff in recognition of their heroic efforts throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Care England would implore the English government to follow suit as a means of not only recognising the efforts of our staff but creating a greater sense of parity with NHS colleagues. The adult social care workforce needs to be seen for what it is; an exciting, challenging, professional career and we have to ensure that staff are remunerated accordingly.”


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