Dementia care operator and home care provider, Belong, is set to pay all its colleagues above the Real Living Wage.
From January 1, 2022, employees of all ages working at Belong’s care villages and home care services across the North West and West Midlands will be paid a minimum of £10 per hour on joining the business, increasing as they progress, according to the seniority and responsibilities of the role.
Chris Hughes, chief finance officer at Belong, said: “As a not-for-profit organisation, Belong has always been committed to reinvesting in our people and it feels particularly important after what has been an extremely tough period.
“The pandemic has shone a light on the hard work and dedication of those working in the care industry and we are keen to ensure they are rewarded accordingly for their contribution, above both statutory law and the sector.
“We are fortunate that demand for Belong villages and services remains high, which enabled us to return to pre-pandemic occupancy levels earlier this year, and we have been keen to pass on the benefit of this across the workforce.”
Belong has paid colleagues the Real Living Wage for the past five years, placing it amongst just 9,000 employers in the UK who pay their workforce a wage designed to meet the everyday cost of living.
The not for profit organisation said it was investing in colleagues following a return to occupancy levels seen pre-pandemic.
Occupancy is currently running at an average of 95% across the group of seven care villages, while average UK care home occupancy is still recovering from a fall to 79.4% in 2020, according to Knight Frank.
Chris added: “The new rate applies to all colleagues from day one, regardless of their age, as we firmly believe that the rate paid should be determined by the role people are fulfilling rather than being affected by someone’s age. While we are always looking to do more for our people, we are proud to be paying all employees at or above the Real Living Wage, to be a Gold accredited Investor in People and to have recently featured in The Telegraph Workplace of the Year Awards 2021.
“Our aim is that all Belong colleagues can come to work and focus on providing the best support for our customers, confident that their take-home pay reflects their hard work and affords them a decent standard of living.”
Caption: Belong Morris Feinmann.