Unless wages rise in social care, the sector’s problems will never be fixed, says UNISON 

The prime minister and the health secretary must make social care a priority.

Commenting on reports from Skills for Care and the Health Foundation published today (Tuesday) that low rates of pay are at the heart of problems in the social care sector, UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said:

“Put simply, wages are much too low. The social care sector won’t get back on its feet and deliver the support needed by millions if it can’t pay the rates needed to attract, keep and promote experienced care workers.

“This is a government which promised to fix social care, but ministers seem to have fallen asleep at the wheel.

“Previously, the government was happy to intervene and force care employers to sack unvaccinated staff. Ministers should get involved again and ensure all staff are paid at least the real living wage immediately.

“But that requires grown-up decisions on funding. Without proper action to arrest the decline in social care provision, the NHS will never clear its backlog.

“The prime minister and the health secretary must make social care the priority they both say they want it to be.”

Notes to editors:
-The Skills for Care latest state of the workforce report says that vacancies in social care are now the highest on record. The Health Foundation’s research says that even before the cost-of-living crisis, one in five residential care workers were living in poverty. Both cite the problem of persistent low pay as key to the chronic staffing problems being experienced in the sector.
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union with more than 1.3 million members providing public services in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.

Media contact:
Liz Chinchen M: 07778 158175 E: press@unison.co.uk