A new government plan to fix and fund social care with a hike to National Insurance rates was broadly criticised by charities and industry bodies when it was announced by Boris Johnson last month.
Mike Padgham, chairman of the Independent Care Group, said it would not “touch the crisis in the sector” or allow it to “properly award those staff who have played such a vital, life-saving role” during the pandemic.
Skills for Care – a charity that works to develop the adult social care workforce in England – estimated that 7.3 per cent of jobs were vacant in 2019-20 – approximately 112,000 vacancies at any one time.
The charity also publishes data on the average earnings for people working in the sector, by council area.
Now, data analysed by National World has revealed Sheffield is in the bottom third of regions in England for how well it pays its independent social care workers.
Findings show that in 2019-20, Sheffield’s 8,600 independent social care workers earned on average £8.66 an hour, or £16,600 a year on an equivalent annual salary.
It compares to nearby North Lincolnshire, which has been ranked the second worst paying region in the country, on just £8.38 per hour.
In a striking contrast, the 600 odd care workers employed by Sheffield City Council are some of the best paid in the country – earning on average £13.38 an hour, equal to £25,742 annually
The study by National World looked at the median earnings – that’s the middle point on the scale from worst to best paid in the area – for people employed by independent care providers, which more than three-quarters of workers are. Councils employ 7 per cent directly.
The data includes all people employed in a direct care role – carers, senior carers, and support and outreach workers – and covers 2019-20, at which point minimum wage was £8.21 for 25 and overs. This has since risen to £8.91 for people aged 23 or over.
It does not include figures for NHS workers.