Social care workers in Wales to get £1,000 bonus as sector moves to real living wage

More than 50,000 social care workers in Wales are to get a £1,000 bonus in their pay packets this year, it has been announced.

The one-off payment, due in staff accounts between April and June, will cost the Welsh Government £96 million.

Labour’s deputy minister for social services, Julie Morgan MS, said the funding boost is aligned with the introduction of the real living wage within the sector.

Ms Morgan (pictured) said she hoped it would help people during the cost-of-living crisis and encourage more people to “consider a rewarding job in care”.

“I’ve seen first-hand the difference social care workers make to people’s everyday lives and I know just how valued they are,” Ms Morgan said.

“We want to see more people take up permanent jobs in social care and start a rewarding career. We also hope those who are considering leaving social care, or who have already left, will stay.”

She added: “The introduction of the real living wage in social care is one of our key priorities and I’m pleased we have been able to do this in our first year of government.”

The 53,000 social care staff eligible for the payment will be mainly adult home care workers, domiciliary care workers and residential childcare workers.

It will be made available to people as a single payment or in monthly instalments.

A national recruitment campaign is also being funded as part of a plan to professionalise the sector and improve career progression opportunities.

Around £43.2 million is being spent to introduce the real living wage, which will also be processed in wages sometime in spring.

But some have said the scheme does not go far enough to tackle the problems facing the sector.

Unison Cymru Wales care lead Mark Turner welcomed the extra money for care workers but said the government needs to “address the poor terms and conditions of those in the care sector in Wales”.

Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson for health and social care, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS, said too many carers had already left the profession for higher wages elsewhere.

“Until those working in caring are rewarded and recognised as they deserve, and that they have the autonomy and funding to provide the high-quality care services they can be proud of, quick-fix payments like this will have little more effect in the long term than putting a sticking plaster on a deep wound,” he said.

Labour and Plaid Cymru announced plans for a publicly delivered National Care Service as part of their co-operation agreement signed last year.

The pact said an expert group would be assigned to investigate the implementation of such a service, which would be free at the point of need, with an aim to have a plan by the end of 2023.

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