Survey shows overwhelming support for care home staff to be better paid

Half the public believe the Government did not prioritise care homes enough as the Covid-19 pandemic started, a survey suggests.

Research by the Fawcett Society among more than 2,000 adults found overwhelming support for carers to be better paid.

Seven out of 10 Conservative supporters said they would back a rise in income tax to fund a pay rise, said the report.

The research, in the week of the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act, showed that half of adults polled did not believe that the Government prioritised care homes enough at the start of the pandemic.

Three out of four respondents said care workers were underpaid.

Sam Smethers (pictured), Fawcett Society chief executive, said: “This crisis has revealed how much we rely on frontline workers, particularly low-paid care workers, yet how poorly they are treated.

“The truth is Government did not prioritise the care sector at the start and the public are clear on that. This must change.

“As a minimum it is time to properly protect them, give them decent terms and conditions and start paying them a living wage.

“Fifty years on from the Equal Pay Act it is time to go to the heart of why women are still undervalued, and that is because we do not value care work, whether it is paid or unpaid.

“The Chancellor could give care workers a pay rise tomorrow if he chose to and our poll shows that the wider public, including the vast majority of Conservative voters, would support it.”

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Care workers have been on the front line of this pandemic, putting their own health on the line to care for the elderly, sick and vulnerable. Many have lost their lives.

“Public support for action is overwhelming. Ministers must get serious about fixing our care sector and giving care workers the pay and respect they deserve.

“Fifty years on from the Equal Pay Act, it’s time to properly value women’s work.”

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