The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) has called on the government to implement a new ‘employment deal’ for social care staff.
In its Budget Survey, out today, ADASS said the deal should include a workforce strategy, consideration of a minimum wage, enhanced training for every individual, development and career progression, and recognition and regulation of the workforce.
The charity has warned that without the employment deal, the social care sector won’t be able to address its 122,000 vacancies and the high turnover amongst care staff, estimated by Skills for Care as 39.5%.
Speaking in a webinar yesterday, ADASS president James Bullion said: “We know that staff turnover is an issue when it comes to infection control, so it’s absolutely vital that we are able to signal to care staff now better conditions and better wages.”
The survey also called for a “repeat” of the £1.4bn in funding allocated to social care this year, on top of a two-year ring-fenced funding settlement, to reimburse local authorities for the costs of COVID-19 and enable to sector to enhance its services.
“This must go alongside a new employment deal with our care staff, who’s compassion, and skill has been brought to the fore during the pandemic,” the report said.
“We must also reform care markets so that they better suit the aspirations and needs of those of us who may need them in the future.”
The CEO of the United Kingdom Homecare Association, Jane Townson, has previously said that the UK should take inspiration from New Zealand in developing a clear social care workforce strategy to address recruitment and retention issues.
Speaking in London on Professional Care Workers Day last year, she said New Zealand had legislated a workforce strategy that sets out mandatory requirements to regularise and guarantee hours, pay for travel time and provide training to agreed standards.