Extra £1 per hour pay uplift approved to support care staff in Hucknall and wider Nottinghamshire
Nottinghamshire Council has approved a £1 per hour uplift on the amount it pays to care agencies to ensure key workers in the industry get a better rate of pay.
The move comes to address an imbalance in the staff turnover rate across care agencies and in-house staff at the authority, with the county seeing a 30 per cent turnover in care in recent months.
This has been put down, in part, due to issues resulting from the pandemic and newer businesses offering “better rates of pay and easier work” – including logistics and distribution warehouses.
Cabinet leaders say the move will help to recognise the “incredibly hard work” provided by care staff in Nottinghamshire and to address recruitment issues across the sector.
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The move was approved by the council’s cabinet at its latest meeting.
Coun Matt Barney, council portfolio holder for adult social care, told the meeting, he said: “We are suggesting the £1 per hour uplift to support an increase in pay from September 2022, costing somewhere in the region of £5 million.
“It’s absolutely the right thing to do because the staff need to be honoured and thanked for the work they do and I wish we could do more – it’s needed.
“This is difficult, tough work which is often not recognised and is often underpaid, as we all know, and this is about [recognising] those people.”
Council papers state there is currently ‘significant variation’ in the pay received by care workers in the county, with some organisations paying the £9.50 minimum wage and the majority paying about £10 an hour.
Coun Mike Pringle, Labour member for Ollerton, welcomed the uplift, but accused the ruling Conservative Group of stealing Labour’s idea in its alternative budget proposals in February.
He said: “It’s a victory for common sense. The problems the care sector is facing are not news to us in Labour; we proposed this idea months ago in our fully-costed alternative budget back in February.
“Let’s not forget, the people who currently work in the care sector, including one of our own Labour councillors, have been heroes throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
“They were putting themselves in harm’s way to protect others and do at times very difficult work, all while being paid the minimum wage in many instances.”