Social Care staff will receive the Real Living Wage in Wales as part of a package to support the sector the Deputy Minister for Social Services, Julie Morgan has announced.
A key pledge in the Programme for Government, the implementation of the Real Living Wage is the first step in to raising wages, esteem and recognising staff for their extraordinary contribution to the coronavirus pandemic.
Currently £9.90 per hour, the Real Living Wage is independently calculated by the Resolution Foundation and overseen by the Living Wage Commission. The Real Living Wage will apply to registered workers in care homes and domiciliary care, in both adults and children’s services. The uplift will apply to Personal Assistants who provide care and support which is funded through a direct payment.
Welsh Government will provide Welsh Local authorities and Health Boards with £43 million so they can implement the Real living Wage from April; with workers feeling the benefit in the following months.
The Deputy Minister for Social Services, Julie Morgan said:
Social care continued to face considerable pressure. Throughout the pandemic we have all seen the vital contribution social care workers have made and continue to make, every single day to our health and social care system.
This is an important first step towards improving employment terms and conditions for the sector. It is a long term commitment and will take some time to implement. We will need to ensure that we do this carefully and in a way that does not destabilise the sector. I look forward to working with all stakeholders, Social Care Fair Work Forum, Union, local governments and providers to take this forward.
The Chief Social Care Officer for Wales, Albert Heaney said:
Every social care worker should feel valued, rewarded and respected for the vital work they do and the valuable role they play in our communities.
By introducing the Real Living Wage and working towards improving the terms and conditions, we are beginning to tackle some of the challenges facing the sector; in particular recruitment and retention.