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Support for Care Workers to Receive a Winter Bonus
Care leaders are calling on the Government to award and fund a £1,000 bonus over the winter period for social care workers in England.
The bonus would recognise the loyalty and dedication of care workers through the COVID-19 pandemic and would help stem the loss of skilled and experienced staff to other types of work.
The call for the £1,000 bonus is being made by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) in response to reports from directors across England of care services struggling or breaking down because of staff shortages.
Stephen Chandler, ADASS president, said: ‘Paying a £1,000 bonus to care workers over the winter would show that we prize their skills and dedication as a society. It would send a strong signal to people that care work is a career that is respected and is going to be properly rewarded in future.’
Care workers in both Scotland and Northern Ireland have been awarded a £500 bonus. Those in Wales have been awarded two bonuses, one of £500 in May 2020 and a second of £735 in May 2021. The Scottish Government has announced a minimum hourly pay rate for care workers of £10.02 from next month. The national living wage in England is £8.91, rising to £9.50 next April.
NHS Providers, which represents every hospital, mental health , community and ambulance service in England, is also calling for immediate, emergency action to support social care.
It wants the Government to provide emergency help to enable the social care sector to keep its existing workforce in place over the next few months.
It said one way was to consider a ‘retention bonus of £500 each for the 1.5 million social care staff in England, similar to the schemes now operating in Scotland and Wales. While a £500 figure is not as high as some employers in retail and hospital are offering as a 'golden hello' in the run up to Christmas, this is a price worth paying if it helps keep social care functioning as we need it to through the winter.’
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