Care charity increases pay for second time in six months amid cost-of-living crisis

Community Integrated Care (CIC) is to increase the pay of its frontline support workers for the second time in six months, amid rising inflation.

The move has also been taken to tackle historic low pay and a recruitment crisis impacting on the charity sector.

“As the UK faces a looming cost-of-living crisis, with the price of goods, energy and household bills continuing to climb and inflation at a 30-year high, it is hoped that the rise will help alleviate some of the worry facing our frontline workforce,” said the charity.

The extra £3m investment in wages, will see frontline support workers in England receive £10 an hour with their counterparts in Scotland receiving £11 an hour, from 1 April, more than the government’s National Living Wage and the voluntary Real Living Wage, as recommended by the Living Wage Foundation.

This is the second increase in wages by the charity, which has a 5,000 strong workforce, after an additional £5m investment package was announced in Autumn last year to increase wages.

“As the social care sector continues its battle with low pay and skills shortages, our charity is proud to be in a position where we can go some way in fulfilling our commitment to valuing and rewarding our colleagues fairly for the outstanding work they do,” said CIC chief executive Mark Adams.

“But we know that for many providers, this is an impossibility, tightly bound by the government’s funding constraints and a recruitment crisis that is buckling our sector.”

CIC’s chief people officer Teresa Exelby added: “Throughout the most testing two years in recent history, our caring and committed colleagues have continued to provide life-enhancing support to thousands of people in our local communities.

“The world has changed immeasurably within this period and even now, as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, our colleagues are grappling with steep increases to the costs of living, leaving many people understandably anxious about what lies ahead.”

Recruitment crisis

Latest workforce figures for adult social care show that the vacancy rate has increased from 5.9% in March 2021 to 9.5% in January. Vacancy hotspots include London and the East Midlands.

Last September a coalition of care charities and housing associations wrote an open letter to cabinet ministers warning of “the most acute recruitment and retention crisis that we are aware of historically”.

Earlier this year Pro Bono Economic urged charity leaders to ensure they take measures to tackle the cost-of-living crisis. The think tank made the call in January as consumer price inflation increased at its fastest rate in just under 30 years.

The think tank warned of a “significant churn” in the charity workforce if salaries continue reducing in real terms.

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