Why we are investing in Wigan Borough's unsung heroes
Councillor Keith Cunliffe, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care
By Councillor Keith Cunliffe, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care.
Social care is one of the most important areas of work for a council, supporting some of the most vulnerable residents in our community. But it is also a sector that has faced great challenges in recent years, particularly with recruitment.
We are seeing providers unable to retain staff because in many cases, those staff members can go and work in places such as a supermarket and get paid more than what they do for a very demanding job.
With more than 165,000 vacancies nationally in social care and as the cost-of-living crisis continues to impact on household bills, Wigan Council recognises the importance of investing in the pay of our workforce.
As part of the 2023/24 budget, we are promising that all staff working in adult social care receive the Real Living Wage. This is set to have a massive impact and we hope it will help us to retain and attract new people into a career in adult social care, ensuring we continue to provide essential and high-quality care to those who need help and support.
The Real Living Wage means that carers will be paid based on the cost of living - an amount independently calculated each year by the Living Wage Foundation. The new rate for the UK is set to increase in 2023 to £10.90 per hour - a 14.7 per cent increase on the April 2022 national living wage.
It will be paid to all direct and commissioned services and the council will work with local commissioned providers to arrange the extra funds needed. This includes an increase in funding for people who arrange their own care through a Direct Payment.
In addition, if a non-commissioned provider such as a privately operated care home is willing to commit to paying the Real Living Wage, we will give them the funding to be able to do that.
I couldn’t be prouder with this investment, which is going toward the unsung heroes of Wigan Borough. It will also complement our innovative Care to Join Us recruitment initiative which has shown great results in terms of attracting people from the borough, especially younger people to look at a career in care and to move into a career in care.
Posted on Wednesday 22nd March 2023