Social care support workers providing direct adult support will have their pay increased to at least the Real Living Wage rate of £9.30 an hour
Social care staff are set to receive an immediate pay rise as they battle through the coronavirus crisis.
Staff providing direct adult support will have their pay increased to at least the Real Living Wage rate of £9.30 an hour for all hours worked, including sleep-overs and hours worked by personal assistants.
The 3.3% lift is being backdated to the beginning of this month. The move, agreed between the Scottish Government and COSLA, means staff will not need to wait for the pay to be backdated at a point later in the year following negotiations, as has happened in previous years.
The commitment covers adult social care workers providing direct care and support to adults in care homes, care at home, day care and housing support.
It is part of a package of measures to support social care workers in recognition of the vital role they are playing during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Scottish Government will also provide funding to third sector and independent providers specifically to ensure staff receive sick pay if they are off work ill or because they are self-isolating.
In addition, the agreed funding increase to these providers will give them the financial flexibility to increase wages across their organisations, not just frontline staff.
Health secretary Jeane Freeman said: “Scotland’s dedicated social care workers are on the frontline of our national pandemic response. Their work is always hugely valued, and never more so than now.
“The measures we are announcing in partnership with COSLA today will ensure all people providing adult social care receive the Real Living Wage for every hour worked with immediate effect, rather than having to wait until later in the year.
“As well as providing an uplift in pay for all social care workers, this package ensures social care providers have both flexibility to increase wages across their organisations and the necessary funding for sick pay if their employees are off ill or are self-isolating.”
Andy Kerr, chair of the Fair Work in Social Care Group, said the plans will give confidence to providers.
He said: “This announcement will provide social care providers the confidence, in these very challenging times, to ensure a very welcome and deserved pay uplift for social care staff working in Scotland. As well as recognising the importance of their work, today’s announcement also gives reassurance that financial support is available for those who are sick or self-isolating during this unprecedented situation. It also reflects the work we are doing as part of the overall reform of adult social care to build a framework for fair work across the sector.”
Annie Gunner Logan, Coalition of Care and Support Providers in Scotland (CCPS) chief executive, said: “This national deal means that care providers should now be able to implement the pay rise swiftly right across Scotland, instead of entering into months of multiple complex local negotiations. This will lift a significant bureaucratic burden from them at a time when all their energies are rightly focused on responding to the challenge of Covid-19.
“Most importantly, it will put extra cash into the pockets of this highly valued – but often overlooked – workforce. We’ve been very pleased to work alongside Scottish Government and COSLA on this agreement, with valuable support from our third sector colleagues at the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO).”
Unison welcomed the living wage being paid to workers. Mike Kirby, Unison Scotland secretary, said: “While the Scottish Living Wage has been policy over recent years, there have been differences of view over adequate funding being provided by Scottish Government through COSLA, leading to protracted contracting process and delays in money reaching care workers. This deal should remove these obstacles. The challenge is now to work with providers to ensure speedy implementation. This deal begins to recognise the real value in society of this workforce. When this crisis is over, there must be no slipping back.”
Theresa Shearer, chief executive of social care charity ENABLE, also welcomed the announcement. She said: "Personal assistants on the social care frontline of the country’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic are true heroes, and the vital contribution they make – now and at all times – is finally getting the widespread recognition it deserves.
"Following three long years of campaigning from ENABLE Scotland and others, I am delighted that the Scottish Government and COSLA have agreed to implement a fully funded uplift to the new Scottish Living Wage for every hour worked – including all overnight support – from 1 April 2020.
"To be clear – £9.30 per hour is not a fair reflection of the value and the talent of the social care workforce. But getting this minimum entitlement as early as possible in the financial year - rather than forcing charities into long and complex negotiations with up to 32 different local authorities - is a critical step forward.
“This must be a first step to a long-term settlement built on the principles of fair work which embeds parity of esteem for the social care workforce with their brilliant colleagues in the NHS.”