According to the Resolution Foundation think tank more than half of social care workers are paid below the real cost of living, according to an analysis of their working conditions. Staff are also four times more likely to be on a zero-hours contract than the average worker. The Resolution Foundation’s report – What happens after the clapping finishes – notes that around 1 million care workers are paid less than the real living wage of £10.75 an hour in London and £9.30 an hour across the rest of Britain. The figure, set by the Living Wage Foundation, is based on everyday living costs in the UK. Among the lowest rung roles in private care companies in England, as many as 90% of workers were paid below the real living wage last year. Tens of thousands also appear to be being paid illegally below the national minimum wage.
With care workers battling to help the vulnerable, there are renewed demands for a rethink of their pay. The Foundation notes “The sheer scale of low pay in the sector, and the intensity of the insecurity faced by the workforce, is still under-appreciated by the broader public. The current pandemic – and our acute reliance on key workers such as those working in care to help us get through it – is an important prompt for the issue to return to public attention.”
The report can be found here.