Following a comprehensive pay and benefit review undertaken by Cornwall based care provider Swallowcourt, the group have pledged from the 1st October to pay a minimum of the Real Living Wage to all of its staff across it’s six nursing and residential homes.
Acknowledging the unprecedented challenges faced in the last 18 months, Swallowcourt Managing Director Leah Marsh said “Whilst as an employer we have always offered above industry standard benefits, after consultation with our staff teams it became very clear that some of the benefits we offered whilst appreciated, were not as important as being paid a wage that meets the cost of living, not just the Government minimum”
Mrs Marsh continued “The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for key workers to be paid a real Living Wage. In adult social care, almost three-quarters of care workers in England earn below the real Living Wage and whilst we clapped for carers at the start of the pandemic, as an employer we recognise that now clapping must translate into proper pay for the work that our amazing care staff do”.
Earlier this week #BetterPay4SocialCare, a coalition of care providers from across the UK submitted a petition to the Government to increase funding to local authorities to pass on to social care providers to enable them to increase pay for care workers. Swallowcourt has also raised the current social care crisis in Cornwall and related pay of care workers with local MP’s, elected members and Cornwall Council, however, has received little or no response to the issues that have been raised so far.
As a Real Living Wage employer, also referred to as the Living Wage Foundation all staff and contractors working for Swallowcourt will receive a minimum hourly wage of £9.50 regardless of age or length of service. This starting rate is significantly higher than the government minimum wage with further enhancements paid based upon roles, responsibilities, qualifications, overtime and weekend working.
“Whilst this is a significant and unbudgeted investment, it is absolutely the right thing for us to be doing at this time, we simply cannot delay this increase to our lowest paid team members in the hope that it will be supported at some point in the future by increased funding” Leah went on to say “In recent years as a social care provider we have been fortunate enough to invest in our homes and technology to further improve the environment and quality of care we provide and it is only right that we now make this pledge to our dedicated and hardworking teams in recognition of all that they do.”