Social Care Workforce Opportunity

Released On 15th Mar 2024

Social Care Workforce Opportunity

A new report to be launched in Parliament today will reveal a once-in-a-generation opportunity to end the workforce crisis in social care. Exclusive public and MP polling has found consensus that the social care pay gap and workforce shortages must be addressed. The report will also highlight the importance of a 2.6 million strong ‘social care vote’, comprised of people who work in and draw on social care in England – an average of 5,000 people per constituency – that could have a defining impact on almost 100 marginal constituencies over the course of the 2024 election.

A new report by the national social care charity, Community Integrated Care, Who Cares Wins: Unfair To Care 2024, will, for the first time, reveal the size of the social care pay gap, its personal, social and societal impacts and the true feelings of MPs and the public in exclusive polling of adults in England and a representative sample of parliamentarians.

Unfair To Care 2024 used exclusive measurement by Korn Ferry – an international leader in job evaluation – to find that the average social care worker would take home £7,617[i] more per year if they delivered a role with comparable responsibilities in the NHS. With the present rate of pay estimated at just £10.93[ii] for a position that has been found to be highly skilled and accountable, social care careers are significantly uncompetitive compared to those in its partner sector, the NHS, and in easier commercial roles.

As the challenges of social care have become increasingly pervasive and apparent, Community Integrated Care commissioned YouGov to conduct exclusive polling to assess the views of political officials and the public[iii].

The report has found that 77% of MPs believe that the current rate of average pay for social care workers is unfair. More than nine in 10 polled MPs (92%) say social care pressures are important to their constituents, with eight in 10 MPs (80%) saying that the next Government should act to improve pay, terms and conditions for care workers. According to Community Integrated Care, this cross-party recognition of the challenges of social care pay and the impact of workforce issues in their communities creates fresh hope for a political solution to this long-standing crisis.

The report has found further significant support for the social care sector amongst the public. In polling of adults in England[iv], 87% of participants expressed that the shortage of care workers is an essential issue for society, with 95% saying that social care workers deliver an important role for society.

With more than half of the population – 53% of people – stating that they will have a more favourable view of political parties that address the issues of low pay (just only 2% would have a less favourable view), the report has argued that we are arriving at a moment where the public and politicians are increasingly aligned in the importance of addressing the challenges faced by care.

In response to the publication of the report, Teresa Exelby, Chief People and Corporate Services Officer at Community Integrated Care, said, 'At present, many social care providers are struggling to survive, so providing parity of pay is impossible without Government support. However, our evidence shows that this is one of the most socially, economically and morally positive investments that the Government can make. Investing in fair pay for social care workers will deliver the social care triple win – improving the lives of people who provide and draw on social care, providing more cost-effective and sustainable care and health services and supporting economic growth and productivity.

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