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Maternity and sick pay take centre stage in development of Scotland’s National Care Service

Improving maternity leave and sick pay in Scotland will be crucial factors in the development of the National Care Service, Scottish Minister for Social Care, Mental Wellbeing and Sport Maree Todd has said.

In a Health, Social Care and Sport Committee debate on the National Care Service (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 she told MSPs that trade unions will be crucial to the development of the national care service. She explained: “One of the reasons why the social care workforce is so disadvantaged is because it is largely female and barely unionised. I would like there to be a stronger role for unionisation within the workforce.”

She told the debate that the social care workforce in Scotland is 83 per cent female and there is less than 19 per cent unionisation.

In addition to improvements in terms and conditions, the minister said that the delivery of £12 an hour minimum pay would be key to the success of the National Care Service, as well as educational opportunities for people once employed in social care.  

However, during the debate, Todd admitted that sectoral bargaining was among the hardest barriers to delivery of the National Care Service.  She said that multiple employers in social care, including the government made “even defining the sector difficult”.

The debate also looked at progress towards co-design of the National Care Service.

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