Council commits to ensuring borough's unsung heroes are paid the Local Living Wage
18 February 2022Cheshire West and Chester Council has committed to ensuring that all of the borough’s social care workers working for providers commissioned by the Council are paid the Local Living Wage.
The unsung heroes of the Covid pandemic, social care workers provide support to some of the borough’s most vulnerable residents to live the best life possible, in their own homes, in care homes, and in nursing settings.
The Council’s Cabinet has approved plans to increase the amount of funding paid to commissioned care providers, allowing those that aren’t already to pay their staff the Local Living Wage of £9.90 an hour from April 2022. According to the Care Quality Commission there are 8,900 people working in social care in west Cheshire - a workforce made up of 84 per cent women, over 48 per cent of which work part-time.
Cabinet member for adult social care and health, Cllr Val Armstrong, said:
“Our vision for adult social care in west Cheshire places the individual at the very heart of support by focusing on how they can lead the very best life as independently as possible.
“Critical to this is recognising the amazing job that social care workers do every day and making sure they are paid fairly for the incredible work that they do.
“The care sector has suffered hugely across the country in the past few years, with many dedicated staff choosing to leave their careers, and I hope this will go some way to supporting people back into social care roles. I want to thank every social care worker in our borough for their commitment and dedication over the past two years – your support has made a huge difference to people’s lives; you are valued and you are respected.
“Working to see everyone in our borough paid the Local Living Wage has been a priority of the Council for a number of years. I’m delighted that we have now declared our commitment to ensuring that those who have worked so hard throughout the pandemic, under tremendous pressures, to keep our residents safe are paid a fair wage.”
Since March 2020 the national care sector has faced unprecedented challenges due to the Covid 19 pandemic, struggling with recruitment and retention of staff and high vacancy rates.
At the Council’s budget setting meeting last night (Thursday) Councillors agreed, working closely with health partners, to take steps to support and bolster the sector to ensure it can continue to provide much needed care.
The Council’s vision is to create a care market that works with residents to enable them to remain independent in their homes for as long as possible. Funding will be targeted at preventative services which include providing people with the equipment that will allow them to remain at home, care support within a home setting and technology-enabled care options.
The Council also committed to investing in the more intensive support offered by care homes, nursing and specialist services for those with dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Cllr Armstrong added:
“We work very closely with our care providers, listening to what they feel they need, where funding would be best targeted and understanding what our residents will need in terms of support and provision over the coming years.
“Together with our health partners I’m confident that we can support the care sector to recruit and retain the right caring and committed staff, ensure that provision meets demand and that all our residents can receive the right care, in the right setting, at the right time.”
The Council’s vision for the future of adult social care in the borough is to: