Care workers across Stow Healthcare Group’s six East Anglian care homes are celebrating, having seen their pay go up by an average of 11% this spring as the company has taken decisive action to ensure that its 470 staff in East Anglia are supported effectively as the cost of living rises.
It has taken the bold step of going beyond the National Living Wage requirements (£9.50ph from 1 April 2022) and overtaking the voluntary ‘Real Living Wage’ of £9.90 per hour or more for all of its staff, paying its care workers at least £10 per hour, plus paying for their breaks.
“The ‘Real Living Wage’ is a voluntary rate paid by over 9000 businesses in the UK and it reflects the real living costs our staff face and represents a much-needed boost for social care staff” said Director Ruth French. “Stow Healthcare has always paid above the National Living Wage, but achieving accreditation now with the Living Wage Foundation demonstrates how important it is to pay our staff a highly competitive rate for the skilled work they perform.”
The company has chosen not only to bring forward its annual pay increases by two months this year, but the significant hike in the take home pay for staff, plus awarding its staff their birthday off each year as an additional benefit, is having an impact on both attracting new staff and supporting its current loyal workers.
Ruth French added “We have had brilliant feedback from our staff. We know that people do not choose a career in social care for the pay, but the reality is that perceptions of social care have changed significantly through the pandemic and people recognize now that not only can they be paid well and have good benefits from an employer like Stow Healthcare, but there are also brilliant opportunities for career progression for nurses, care staff and support roles. I would encourage anyone to make contact and take their next steps with us.”