Borough Care has become the country’s largest residential care provider to receive a real living wage accreditation from the Real Living Wage Foundation, as part of its commitment to delivering a fair day’s pay for a hard day’s work. This will see employees of the not-for-profit organisation receive a minimum hourly wage of £9.50, compared to the government minimum wage which currently stands at £8.91 per hour.
The care sector is notorious for being underpaid and undervalued, with the COVID-19 pandemic highlighting its significance and importance in society. According to Skills for Care’s annual report on the state of the adult social care workforce, care worker pay has fallen behind that of retail staff and cleaners over the past eight years. The real living wage will see Borough Care paying its staff significantly more than the industry average hourly wage for care workers, at £8.50.
The care provider, which has 12 residential homes in Stockport and Leek and employs over 600 members of staff, is one of only a handful of North West firms to have achieved the accreditation, with nearly a quarter of all jobs in the region (20%) paying less than the real living wage – around 584,000 jobs.
The real living wage is the only rate calculated according to the costs of living. It provides a voluntary benchmark for employers that wish to ensure their staff earn a wage they can live on, not just the government minimum. Since 2011 the living wage movement has delivered a pay rise to over 250,000 people and put over £1.3 billion extra into the pockets of low paid workers.
Borough Care’s decision comes as a result of the hard work, dedication and commitment of its employees.
Dr Mark Ward, CEO at Borough Care, said:
“Everyone at Borough Care has worked towards this goal over several years: to give our whole team a fair day’s pay for a hard day’s work. I have personally never been prouder of any achievement in my career.
“Social care is widely undervalued and knowingly under-resourced by government at every level. It doesn’t have to be that way and I’m truly thrilled that we can play our small part in changing that narrative to give our staff a well-deserved fair wage.”
Laura Gardiner, Director, Living Wage Foundation, said:
“We’re delighted that Borough Care has joined the movement of over 7,000 responsible employers across the UK who voluntarily commit to go further than the government minimum to make sure all their staff earn enough to live on.
“They join thousands of small businesses, as well as household names such as Burberry, Barclays, Everton Football Club and many more. These businesses recognise that paying the real Living Wage is the mark of a responsible employer and they, like Borough Care, believe that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay.”