Difficult To Square The Care/Living Wage Circle – Comments From Law Firm Bevan Brittan

Commenting on the pressure that a national Living Wage may place on home care providers, as per the warnings from the UKHCA, Jodie Sinclair employment law partner at Bevan Brittan, said:

“There are no easy solutions here. The big question now is who (and how) will plug the funding gap for the homecare providers market to finance the additional costs of introducing a “national living wage”, especially given the government’s health and social care priority to move care into the community and out of the acute hospital settings. Increased wages, without a corresponding increase in funding, will mean that care sector employers are going to be faced with tough competing challenges – the need to increase productivity to ‘get more bang for their buck’ whilst also looking for workforce savings and efficiencies.  Most care sector employers are already operating with the absolute minimum staffing requirements, so reducing staff is unlikely to be feasible.  They may look to limit overtime and unsocial hours payments – but that won’t be easy either given the need to provide service when it’s needed.  It will be difficult to square the circle.  The care sector’s concerns are very real.”