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Extending the Real Living Wage to Council contracted adult independent social care sector workers and all direct payment personal assistants

Written by on 28th September 2021

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council Council could formally make a commitment to ensure Councilcontracted adult independent social care workers, and all direct payment recipients, in Rhondda Cynon Taf are paid at least the Real Living Wage by helping independent sector social care providers access Welsh Government funding.

At the upcoming Cabinet meeting on Monday, October 4, Members will discuss an exempt report which recommends increasing funding to local contracted care workers, to achieve the Real Living Wage – specifically to those who work in older people residential and nursing care, supported living, extra care and home care, along with all direct payment personal assistants providing care and support.

The Real Living Wage is based on the cost of living, and is annually updated each November. Currently standing at £9.50 per hour, the wage is voluntarily paid by hundreds of employers in Wales and thousands across the UK.

The recommendations to Cabinet on Monday have been made in recognition of the growing and sustained pressures on domiciliary services and residential and nursing care – which has been highlighted and further added to by the pandemic. Ensuring an appropriate minimum level of pay is vital to support essential care workers. The report outlines that this intends to be provided by December 1, 2021.

Welsh Government has provided additional resources for this in 2021/22, through the Social Care Recovery Fund, setting aside £40m across Wales.

If Cabinet agrees on Monday, the Council willformally commit to supporting independent sector social care providers to access this funding, and willwrite to Welsh Government to seek assurance that the funding will be provided.

Councillor Geraint Hopkins, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Services,said: “The Cabinet report being brought forward sets out recommendations for the Council to support all contracted adult social care workers andall direct payment recipients in Rhondda Cynon Taf to receive the Real Living Wage as a minimum. It is recognised that, even before the pandemic, there was an increasing demand on services and complexity in the needs of those requiring care and support.

These demands have been made even more acute in the past 20 months or so, none more so than on domiciliary and residential care. These services have played a critical role in protecting the health and well-being of vulnerable residents – both within care home settings and within people’s homes –and this effort has ensured that patient flow through the health and social care system has continued during these times of intense pressure.

The proposals which Cabinet will consider on Monday would extend our support to pay the Real Living Wage to wider areas of adult social care provision and direct payments, which are not in currently receipt of the payment. This is with the intention of recognising the work that care workers do, to encourage more people to join the industry, and to retain employees who make an invaluable difference to the most vulnerable community members on a day-to-day basis.”