Social care charity ENABLE Scotland is seeking to raise the basic rate of pay for its frontline workforce to £10 per hour from 1st October 2021.
This would take the minimum pay for ENABLE’s Personal Assistants to 50p above the real Living Wage rate of £9.50 per hour, and is equivalent to a 5.2% pay rise for affected staff – higher than the 4% pay rise for NHS Scotland staff this year. It is worth over £1,000 per year for a full time Personal Assistant.
This move directly supports staff who are traditionally amongst the lowest paid workers in the economy, the majority of whom are women, and goes beyond the rate at which providers are funded to deliver social care and support by commissioning local authorities.
Last November, ENABLE Scotland became the largest social care provider in Scotland to achieve accreditation as a real Living Wage employer. Beyond the charity’s commitment to pay its entire workforce at least the real Living Wage, it also introduced a ‘Reward to Retain’ demonstration initiative, paying around 35% of its frontline workforce beyond the real Living Wage. This exercise successfully evidenced the positive impact on recruitment and retention of enhanced pay in those services.
The offer will allow ENABLE Scotland’s 1,800 social care staff to be paid more than the real Living Wage, with the charity also planning to introduce further demonstration sites paying £11 per hour, continuing to evidence the importance of enhanced pay in social care on the wellbeing, recruitment and retention of staff.
ENABLE Group CEO Theresa Shearer said: “For years, ENABLE Scotland has campaigned and influenced for better pay for all 148,000 frontline social care workers across Scotland. We started paying the real Living Wage for every hour worked – including overnight support – before we were fully funded by all our commissioners to do so, and we are once again taking a lead in enhancing pay because we have shown through our demonstration sites that this makes a real difference to our people’s job satisfaction and sense that the vitally important work they do is truly valued.
“With labour shortages being experienced in several keyworker roles throughout the economy, ENABLE Scotland’s strategic intervention will ensure we are able to continue to recruit and retain skilled and motivated frontline personnel to deliver excellent quality, human rights-driven, self-directed health and social care through our Personal Assistant (PA) Model.
“As everyone is aware, fully addressing the challenges facing the social care sector will require substantial Scottish Government investment and reform, and we welcome the current consultation on a National Care Service. However, the social care workforce and the people we work for need action now and in the future too. We are acting now, and ENABLE Scotland is taking the initiative to demonstrate the impact of enhanced pay on the wellbeing of the social care workforce and on outcomes for the people we work for.”
John Mooney of UNISON Scotland said: “We greatly appreciate the leadership ENABLE Scotland has consistently shown in the campaign for better pay for social care workers, and we too have been actively supporting our members in the shared ambition to improve pay and conditions. We have supported the charity through the development of the PA Model and the implementation of its demonstration sites.
“As the sector is largely dependent on the rate of pay funded by commissioning local authorities, we warmly welcome ENABLE Scotland’s commitment to enhancing frontline pay beyond the real Living Wage, and we look forward to working with them, alongside our members, to progress this commitment and demonstrate the positive impact this will have on recruitment and retention.
“Enhanced pay in the social care sector must be a first step on the path to a long-term settlement built on the principles of Fair Work which embeds parity of esteem for the social care workforce with their brilliant colleagues in the NHS.”
As well as the pay rise, ENABLE Scotland has embarked on a national recruitment campaign which demonstrates the employment opportunities available across Scotland in a growing sector, at a time when many people are thinking about a career change as the economy reopens post-pandemic.