Increase in National Living Wage must be backed with cash, says Care England
January 9, 2020
Provider representative body Care England has welcomed the new National Living Wage (NLW) rates announced by the Government at the start of the new year, with the association’s chief executive, Professor Martin Green, saying that good and fair wages were a lynchpin in the future sustainability of the adult social care sector.
“But it is incumbent upon government to ensure that such increases in the NLW are reflected in the fees paid to care providers who are supporting some of society’s most vulnerable people,” said Prof. Green.
Set to be introduced from April 2020 the NLW will increase by 6.2% to £8.82 per hour whilst the rate for younger workers, 21-24 year olds, will increase by 6.5% from £7.70 to £8.20 per hour. For workers aged 18 and below there will be a 4.6% increase from £4.35 to £4.55 per hour and apprentices will see their wages rise by 6.4% from £3.90 to £4.15 per hour.
In its 2019 report, the Low Pay Commission said government must take responsibility for the delivery of the increased NLW in sectors, such as social care, where it is the main source of funding. Prof. Green said the delivery of social care funding was radically different from other parts of the economy and must therefore be treated accordingly.
“If government fails to support this uplift then services may close, jobs will be lost and support to people in need will be reduced at a time when more people need social care,” he said.
“The social care system has endured chronic underfunding for many years and we call upon the Government to fund not only the increases in the living wage, but the sector’s long term sustainability.”