The Independent Care Group (ICG) has given a cautious welcome to the government’s planned increase in the Living Wage, but warned that it should be accompanied by greater support for those providing publicly-funded care.
The National Living Wage will rise by 6.2% in April to £8.72, the biggest increase since it was introduced in April 2016.
The government has estimated that almost three million UK workers will receive increases to their pay as a result of the increase, which will come into effect on 1 April 2020, and will result in an annual rise of £930.
ICG chair Mike Padgham said the increase is good news for lower-paid workers, adding that he would like to see this rise even further.
However, he warned that the increase will add “further pressure”, especially to those who are providing state-funded care.
“The government will need to better fund local authorities so that they can, in turn, increase their fees to providers to allow for increased wages, otherwise it will just heap greater pressure on those already struggling to survive,” he said.
“In an ideal world everyone across social care would like to pay their staff more but they all need greater support to be able to meet the demands of increased wages and all the other pressures providers face.
“As a country, we have to get greater funding into social care so that we can provide a better care service, meet the needs of the 1.5m who currently aren’t getting the care they need and properly reward and recognise the amazing staff who work in care.”