A Sheffield campaign group is calling for carers to be given a higher wage with a petition to Parliament.
FLASh, Families Lobbying and Advising Sheffield, says it is concerned about a crisis in social care and the lack of funding from local authorities.
It’s calling on the Government to pay carers at least £9 an hour in line with the Living Wage. FLASh has organised a petition to Parliament and is asking people in Sheffield to sign and support it.
Chris Sterry, vice chairman of FLASh, said: “The care industry is in a state of crisis as there is insufficient funding from local authorities to care service providers to pay the carers a sufficient wage
“Local authorities have, for many years under this current Government, been subjected to austerity and cuts to the funding.
“The care industry is hanging by a thread. In 2015, Carers UK found that family carers save the UK economy £132 billion a year and that if even a small proportion of family carers were unable to carry on caring, the economic effect would be ‘catastrophic’. We need to attract more people to the caring professional by paying the Living Wage.”
Mr Sterry, who is himself a carer for his wife and daughter, says the Living Wage would reflect the responsibilities of the job.
The National Living Wage (formerly Minimum Wage) is £7.83 while the Living Wage is £9.
He said: “Every employed person over age 25 has to be paid the National Living Wage by law but the Living Wage is what good employers can voluntary pay their employees.
“The Living Wage Foundation states that £9 per hour is the amount that really needs to be paid, taking into account living costs, for people to realistically live on.
“Carers responsibilities include intimate personal care, washing, dressing, meal preparation, financial management, emotional support, safeguarding, daily planning, social inclusion, wellbeing, respect and dignity in a personalised manner.
“The pay rates need to reflect the responsibilities – pay carers the Living Wage.”
To sign the Epetition go to https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/236151
If you are a family carer for someone with a learning disability or autism, you can contact FLASh on firstname.lastname@example.org