Page 3 - Unfair-To-Care-22-23-Flipbook
P. 3

Our 2021 Unfair To Care Report provided the first ever independent assessment of the frontline Support Worker role and rates of pay. Undertaken by Korn Ferry, the world-leading experts in job evaluation, this in-depth analysis proved that, far from being low-skilled, the Support Worker role is clearly technically, emotionally, and physically demanding, and requires the application of a wide range of innate and developed technical skills.
Shockingly, it demonstrated that many would be paid 39% more – nearly £7,000 a year – in equivalent positions within the public sector and local authorities, and up to 42% within the NHS (2021 figures).
The revelation of this pay gap not only became a national news story, with a media reach of 62 million, but moreover, evoked an enormous public response, as the injustice of this inequality was laid bare.
Many leading care sector organisations and policy institutions used the Unfair To Care research within their own work, making it essential evidence in the fight for fair pay. Opposition political parties adopted our conclusions, agreeing that NHS bandings need to be applied to social care as part of greater workforce investment and reform.
So, as we present Unfair To Care 2022/23, has this gap been closed by ambitious government investment? Has a coherent national workforce strategy been created, to make social care a career of choice, ensuring that every person can receive the support they deserve?
Despite the overwhelming evidence that balanced both an economic case for investment in fair pay with the moral case of an entirely unjustifiable pay gap, there has been no bold and decisive action from the Government. In fact, the pay gap between social care and the NHS remains at a staggering 41.1%.
Yet there is significant public recognition of the shared value of both social care and the NHS. In an Ipsos survey specially commissioned for this report, we have seen the importance placed on social care by the general public being almost equal to that of the NHS.
On the face of it, there has been some fragments of progress in closing the pay disparity. This has largely been driven, we believe, by a positive response from within the care sector, coupled with the extraordinary challenges of national workforce shortages and a cost-of-living crisis.
2. ‘Sector Pulse-Check: A snapshot of the learning disability sector in 2021’, Hft April 2022 3
For the past five years, social care pay has closely tracked increases in the National Living Wage. For the first time in 2022, that pattern has been broken as sector pay rose by 8.2%, compared to the National Living Wage increase of 6.6%.
Look behind these figures though, and you will see that these rises are driven by providers depleting their reserves, in a desperate bid to stay afloat
in an inflation-driven employment market.
A recent sector pulse report demonstrates that 80% of provider organisations say that the funding they receive from local authorities to deliver care will not cover their wage bills, forcing them to dig deep into their own reserves as they try to keep pace with wage rises elsewhere2. This departure from minimum wage-anchored increases reflects peril for providers, as much as progress.
Beyond this, these increases demonstrate glacially slow progress in achieving parity with the NHS. As this report shows, the reduction in pay gap between social care and the NHS averages just 1.5% per year, since the last general election. At this rate, it will take 23 years – a whole generation – for Support Workers to reach parity with their peers in the NHS.
We, of course, recognise the need for fair pay across many other sectors and industries, including the NHS. Unfair To Care does not seek to curtail or diminish progress within other sectors, but instead advocates for parity and fairness across these parallel sectors.
Change is needed now. As Britain wrestles with a cost-of-living crisis, too many brilliant and talented Support Workers with a passion for changing lives are experiencing personal crises or finding that they can no longer remain in the sector that they love. This false economy is depriving people of the quality support that they need to lead full and independent lives. Despite the many pressures of the moment, this remains one of the single biggest challenges that exists for the nation today.
Millions of people are depending upon change. We hope that this report, which has been generously supported by so many of our partners, helps to bring this forward.

   1   2   3   4   5