Devon County Council’s Pandemic response management team has rapidly escalated a decision to increase the amounts they pay to care providers, in order to significantly raise the pay of home care workers.
It will see care workers’ salaries – those working under contract to the Council – raised to a minimum of £10 per hour.
Many domiciliary care workers currently receive the national minimum wage at £8.72 per hour.
The pay rise is to better reward the workforce, but right now it’s also because it’s essential for the care sector to recruit more staff, in response to COVID-19.
Under strict new safety guidance, care workers across the county are continuing to visit vulnerable people who are in lock-down, are self-isolating, or are ‘shielded’ or confirmed as having the virus. Care agencies, like employers everywhere, have members of their teams off work with symptoms, putting pressure on their operations while they continue to support their clients’ care needs.
Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, the Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for adult social care and health, said:
“Right now, it’s vital that we do everything we can to support the care sector.
“This is not just about rewarding care workers for the tremendous work that they are doing, under enormously challenging circumstances. It’s to boost recruitment to the sector to help care providers to be resilient to staff pressures while they continue to meet the growing demand for care, and retain recruits currently entering the social care workforce once this national emergency has passed .
“This urgent decision to increase rates to care providers comes into immediate effect, with the condition that they pass on the pay rise to their care workers as quickly as possible, and backdate the pay rise to now.”