London ,

Camden secures London Living Wage for care staff

Camden Council is to take another major step forward in the fight for improved pay. Care home staff employed by Shaw Healthcare, along with home care workers across the Borough, are to be paid the London Living Wage (LLW).

From July 2016, twenty of Shaw Healthcare’s lowest paid care home staff at Wellesley Road and Maitland Park care homes and Gospel Oak Court extra care facility will be paid more than £2.50 extra an hour.

Other Shaw Healthcare staff, including care workers, will also see their pay increase even further as a result, with the majority of staff set to benefit from an increase of around £2.00 an hour.

From next month (February 2016), over 1,000 home care workers will also see their pay increase by over £2.50 an hour when Ethical Care Charter commitments to pay homecare workforce the LLW become a reality.

Commenting ahead the announcement at the meeting of the full Council, Councillor Sarah Hayward, Leader of Camden Council said:

“As a Living Wage borough we see first-hand the impact that fair pay can have and that’s why it’s important to ensure that the people who support our most vulnerable residents benefit from the increase.

“Despite facing some of the biggest central government cuts in the country, we are leading the way in improving working standards across social care in Camden, and we know this will improve quality of life for people who need care and support.”

Councillor Sally Gimson, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health said:

“Sealing these deals was my number one priority when I took on responsibility for adult social care earlier this year. The investment we’re making is another demonstration of our continued commitment to our social care workforce. Every penny we spend on this deal will go directly into the wage packets of care staff.

“The complexities involved in applying the LLW to social care contracts are well recognised and I’m proud to say that although challenging, we have proved it can be done.”

Dave Prentis, UNISON General Secretary said:

"Camden council is proof that even in these tough times care home and home care providers can still be persuaded to pay their staff the living wage. Home care staff work long days, looking after some of society's most vulnerable people, but in many places they don't even earn the minimum wage, because their employers don't pay them for the time they spend travelling between people's homes.

"Councils everywhere have been hit hard by government spending cuts and ministers' failure to fund social care properly is making life extremely tough for local authorities like Camden. Even though its resources are stretched it's good to see that ensuring workers in the borough get paid a decent wage is still a priority for the administration.

“I hope more councils see what Camden is doing, sign up to UNISON's ethical care charter and start giving home care workers, and the people they care for, a much better deal."

The current Shaw Healthcare contract, awarded back in June 2010, was agreed before Camden became a Living Wage authority in 2012. Negotiations between the Council and Shaw Healthcare have been ongoing to ensure the best possible value for money from the existing contract and that LLW levels are achieved.

This announcement is part of Council’s continued commitment to tackle poverty pay and invest in those areas which will have the biggest impact on the lives of its most vulnerable residents.

In 2012, Camden became accredited as a Living Wage employer and since then 248 contracts out of a total of 254 have been awarded with LLW.

The Council has committed to fully implement the LLW wherever it is shown to provide best value by 2017.