The Deputy Minister for Social Services, Julie Morgan, announced today that social care workers in Wales are to be paid the Real Living Wage, £9.90 per hour, in a bid to support the sector.
With the announcement, Julie Morgan said:
“Social care continued to face considerable pressure. Throughout the pandemic we have all seen the vital contribution social care workers have made and continue to make, every single day to our health and social care system.”
“This is an important first step towards improving employment terms and conditions for the sector. It is a long term commitment and will take some time to implement. We will need to ensure that we do this carefully and in a way that does not destabilise the sector. I look forward to working with all stakeholders, Social Care Fair Work Forum, Union, local governments and providers to take this forward.”
The Welsh Government will begin providing local authorities and health boards with £43 million from April of 2022 in order to implement the Real Living Wage. It is hoped that the adoption of the Real Living Wage will improve recruitment and retention in the sector.
The Real Living Wage (RLW) is independently calculated by the Resolution Foundation and overseen by the Living Wage Commission. The RLW, in general, exists for companies to voluntarily adopt as a means of being able to cover the basic costs of living. It is calculated based upon the cost of household goods and services, compared to the National Living Wage (NLW) set by the UK government, which is calculated as a percentage of median earnings. The RLW was increased in November from £9.50 to £9.90, in-line with the 4.2% inflation reported by the Office of National Statistics during that month. However, in December the ONS announced a decade-high inflation rate of 5.1%, while the RLW is unlikely to see another increase before next November.
The RLW is currently 99p more than the NLW.