New pay rates welcomed but don't go far enough says opposition
Social care charities have hailed a fully-funded pay uplift for the sector’s workforce.
From 1 December, social care staff will be guaranteed a minimum £10.02 an hour.
Health secretary Humza Yousaf announced that social care pay will rise above the Living Wage to match NHS band 2 staff.
It comes after Yousaf’s predecessor Jeane Freeman announced in March that social care workers would see their pay rise to at least £9.50 an hour – the equivalent of the Real Living Wage.
The government provided £64.5m to fund that increase.
Enable Scotland had previously announced that it is seeking to raise the basic rate of pay for its frontline workforce to £10 per hour from 1 October 2021.
This pay rise would be worth over £1,000 per year for a full time social care worker. The charity is also launching new demonstration sites paying £11 per hour to continue to evidence the importance of enhanced pay in social care on the wellbeing, recruitment and retention of staff.
Theresa Shearer, Enable’s chief executive, said: “At a crucial time for the social care sector, we welcome the Scottish Government’s announcement of a fully funded uplift in care workers’ pay beyond the real Living Wage this December, and are delighted to see Enable Scotland’s policy of enhancing frontline pay to at least £10 per hour being followed nationally.
“This immediate short term intervention will support the recruitment and retention of dedicated social care staff who enable the people we work for to live a good life in the community.
“We thank the Scottish Government for their action, which is a great starting point from which to discuss the overall package of terms and conditions for a highly skilled, professional workforce which truly reflects the value of their critical contribution to society.”
The Scottish Greens, who signed a co-operation agreement with the SNP-led government earlier this year, welcomed the most recent move, saying it “shows we are working for Scotland”.
But Jackie Baillie, Scottish Labour’s spokesperson for health, social care and equalities, criticised the uplift, saying it will not go far enough to help with the retention of staff.
At their recent conference Labour members backed a motion in favour of making minimum pay £15 an hour, which is the level Baillie said the health secretary should have settled on for care workers.
Calling Yousaf’s entire announcement a “sticking plaster for much more profound problems”, Baillie said “the social care uplift for staff is insufficient.
“Working the till at Aldi pays more,” she said. “You need to pay £15 an hour.”