Re. Pay and Working Conditions for Social Care Workers
The covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the immense debt of gratitude we all owe to our frontline workers who continue to care for us and our families in these incredibly challenging times. This includes our social care workers, who provide invaluable care for our elderly and vulnerable people.
However, despite the essential care they provide, social care workers still earn less than the national average and often have to work long hours in difficult conditions. We have stood on our doorsteps clapping our key workers, it is now time we started to take real action to help them.
I was disappointed by your answer to my Written Question (130176) in which you stated that the Government has no direct responsibility over the pay and working conditions of care home workers. Whilst the care home sector is made up of a mix of private care homes and those run by local authorities, as Minister for Care I believe you should be using all tools at the Government’s disposal to combat low pay and poor working conditions in the sector.
The extra £1bn being made available to local authorities for social care is of course welcome. However, the Local Government Association projects that the social care sector faces a funding shortage of £3.5bn by 2025 just to maintain existing standards of care. More funding is urgently needed to not just merely maintain existing standards but improve the quality of care along with the pay and working conditions of our social care workers.
I therefore urge you to take steps now to ensure that the social care workers who have cared for elderly and vulnerable are given the pay rise they deserve after the heroics we have seen during the pandemic.
Gill Furniss MP
Member of Parliament for Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough