Connected Health has become Northern Ireland’s first Living Wage-accredited care provider.
The home care provider announced the move following the launch of a recruitment campaign to fill 150 new job roles across its NI operations.
The Living Wage accreditation will see all Connected Health carers receive a minimum hourly wage of £9.30 regardless of their age – significantly more than the government minimum wage for over 25s, which currently stands at £8.72 per hour.
Northern Ireland has the highest proportion of non-living wage jobs in all UK regions (23%), with more than 202,000 jobs paying less than the real Living Wage. New research published this week by the Living Wage Foundation found 170,000 workers in Northern Ireland were paid below the Living Wage and in insecure work.
The announcement by Connected Health coincides with a new Citizens UK campaign calling for all key workers – including those working in the care sector – to receive a ‘real living wage’.
Katherine Chapman, director at the Living Wage Foundation, said: “Connected Health is leading the way in taking care of care workers in Northern Ireland, where social care is a notoriously underpaid sector.
“Low pay is widespread in the social care sector, so it is even more impressive and welcome to see Connected Health commit to provide their workers with fair pay during these challenging times. The living wage makes a huge difference to the lives of workers and their families, and if the last few months have proven anything it is that care is an extraordinarily vital sector and that care workers deserve a real living wage.”
Dougie Adams, CEO of Connected Health, said: “Supporting our people, who deliver more than 1.6 million home visits per year, with a real living wage is the right move for our company as it fits perfectly with our culture of fairness and dedication to rewarding employees for tremendous effort.
“We at Connected Health are very proud to play our part in the great work of the Living Wage movement by standing by our people so they can more comfortably meet their everyday living costs.
“Not only will the wage benefit our employees but also the communities in which they live and work in all five health trust areas.”