Researchers from King’s Business School are calling for a new deal for health and care employees. They seek a new model of employment, characterised as fair care work, to tackle the challenges to working lives exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The paper Fair Care Work: A post Covid-19 agenda for integrated employment relations in health and social care, explores four key dimensions: pay, outsourcing, training and the position of migrant workers.
The researchers’ proposed new model of employee relations is based on four key principles:
- Integration – the fragmentation of service delivery has led to the uneven treatment of employees, with consequences for the capacity of the workforce to deliver quality care.
- Parity of esteem and treatment – the researchers call for a re-evaluation of job worth, with implications for pay rates, and fairer distribution of training resources and opportunities across occupational groups.
- Compliance – enhanced by broadening the remit of the Care Quality Commission, and other arms-length-bodies like Health Education England, and by the regular government commissioning of monitoring exercises.
- Collective employee voice – representation by trade unions and professional associations recognised as the basis for industrial citizenship.