Paying carers living wage will cost £4m a year
A COST of £4m annually has been put on Dumfries and Galloway Council paying home care workers the living wage of £8.25 an hour.
The council considers the living wage to be the single most important contribution to tackling poverty. It is calculated according to the basic cost of living using the minimum income standard for the UK.
It was conscious that not all people employed by the services it contracted out were on the same level. Last October the living wage of £8.25 began being paid to social work home care services after an investment of £4m. The local authority has pushed for this to be rolled out to other businesses in the region.
Care providers say the action is “a most welcome and positive move”. Not only does it give employees a better standard of living but also helps to give them and their careers the status they deserve.
Paying the living wage in the sector should not only address the significant recruitment and retention problems it faces but also improve the quality of care by promoting care as a positive career with a salary which reflects the employees' expertise.
Councillor Ronnie Nicholson, council leader, said: "We are voluntarily taking a stand to ensure our employees and employees of all care providers, who work with us, are earning a wage which is enough to live on.
"In some cases, this can make the difference to lift people out of poverty and ensure they are earning enough to afford the things they need to live."