On the eve of the introduction of the National Living Wage, Care England has reiterated its call to government to fund social care appropriately. From tomorrow, the new NLW will be paid to all those aged 25 and over.
Professor Martin Green OBE, chief executive of Care England says: “We have warned and warned about social care underfunding and consequent provider failure, but central government has taken little responsibility for the attrition of the care sector. For some, services have already been lost, for others, the National Living Wage will be the final straw. The introduction of the National Living Wage presents an additional, unfunded, statutory cost threatening the sustainability of the social care market, heaping pressures onto care providers and ultimately residents and the NHS.”
Care England’s members have spoken out about the impact of the National Living Wage.
Dr Pete Calveley, chief executive of Barchester Healthcare, said: “While all providers welcome the introduction of the National Living Wage that guarantees improved pay for our fantastic staff it is unfortunate that the government has left the very significant burden of funding this improvement with providers.
“This additional cost to our business comes on top of other unfunded government-imposed costs on social care provider, including the increased cost of CQC regulation and the auto-enrolment pension scheme, and yet again highlights the critical need for joined up commissioning of health and social care rather than this thoughtless stream of ‘fire and forget’ policies.
“Fair pay is only one element of ensuring our staff feel valued for the vital role they perform within our business and we are recognising this through a whole raft of further initiatives that reward and value our employees’ contribution.”
Martin Green added: “Care workers are our biggest resource, and we want to pay them accordingly. We have been supportive of establishing a Living Wage, but have underlined this can only be done when the Government funds social care sustainably. At the eleventh hour, this still has not taken place.”