With most of Britain’s 1.4 million home care workers stuck on insecure and low-paid zero-hours contracts, the Resolution Foundation says the crucial job of caring for others should be rewarded with a ‘living wage’ of at least £7.85 an hour.
Paying every care worker the living wage would cost an estimated £1.3bn. However, the think tank claims that as well as saving money in tax credits and benefits, it would also help to ensure the highest possible standard of care for elderly and disabled people.
Video courtesy of Channel 4 News.
Laura Gardiner, Senior Research and Policy Analyst at Resolution Foundation, said:
“There is a growing consensus that social care provision in the UK will reach crisis point if nothing is done to improve pay and conditions for this overstretched and undervalued workforce, who care for the most vulnerable members of our society.
“By analysing the costs and benefits of moving to a living wage for all care workers, we hope to inject much needed clarity and realism into a debate in which some treat a living wage in care as a costless aspiration, while others dismiss it out of hand as being unaffordable and just too difficult.
“Our report aims to provide the kind of figures needed to start thinking seriously about how to tackle pervasive low pay in a sector that for too long been overlooked by policy-makers.
“While the investment required by government to make the living wage a reality for all care workers is substantial, we believe that the wider social and economic benefits create a compelling case for action.”