Labour Calls for End to Poverty Wages for Care Workers

Labour’s Deputy Leader Angela Rayner, who was a home care worker before becoming an MP, will today argue that a pay rise for social care heroes is “well overdue” and the “very least” that they deserve after all they have done for us during the Covid pandemic.

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Rayner will also argue that pay rises for care workers and other underpaid key workers would help secure our economy and put us on the path to growth. It would mean more spending in our local communities stimulating the economy. Valuing workers properly would also help incentivise employers to invest in training.

The average hourly wage for care workers in the North West is currently £8.58 meaning a rise to £10 an hour would be worth £2959 a year for a frontline worker with a 40 hour working week. 

Rayner will argue that it should be a “source of shame” for government Ministers that the “very same people who have been putting their lives on the line to care for others” during the Covid crisis are being paid “poverty wages that mean they are struggling to support themselves and their own families”. 

In a keynote speech opening UNISON Women’s Conference today, Rayner will also demand that the Government ends the “scandal” of many care workers being paid less than the minimum wage for the hours that they work because they are not paid for travel time between individual care visits. 

This follows successful legal action by a group of homecare workers who were being paid less than half the minimum wage for a working day of 14 hours, with the private contractors involved found to have broken the law.

Labour’s Deputy Leader Angela Rayner MP said:

“Our social care workers were underpaid and undervalued even before this crisis struck.

“A pay rise for our social care heroes is well overdue, and is the very least that they deserve after all they have done for us over the last year.

“Last year the Prime Minister and his Cabinet fell over themselves to clap for our carers, but claps don’t pay the bills. It’s now well past time for the government to give our care workers, and all of our key worker heroes, the pay rise they deserve.

“It isn’t just morally wrong that so many of our care workers do not earn a wage that they can live on, it is also holding back our economy. Every extra pound in the pockets of the 105,000 social care workers in the North West will be spent in local businesses, on our high streets and help to stimulate the local economy.”

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