What is this?
For many years research has shown that there is a gap between the Minimum Wage, as set out by the government each year and the Real Living Wage. The Real Living Wage rates are higher because they are independently-calculated based on what people need to get by. The aim of the Real Living Wage is that employees earn a wage that meets the costs of living, not just the government minimum.
|THEMINIMUM WAGE||NATIONALLIVING WAGE||REALLIVING WAGE|
|WHAT IS IT?||£8.36||£8.91||£9.50 across the UKand £10.85 in London|
|IS THIS THE LAW?||Statuary||Statuary||Voluntary|
|WHAT AGE GROUP IS COVERED?||21 and older||23 and older||18 and older|
|HOW IS IT SET?||Negotiated settlement based on recommendations from businesses and trade unions||A % of medium earnings, it aims to reach 66% of median earnings by 2024||Calculation made according to the cost of living, based on a basket of household goods and services|
|IS THERE A LONDON WEIGHTING?||No London Weighting||No London Weighting||Yes - Separate higher rate for London|
What is this?
When we set up as a company in 2008, we aimed to follow the best employment practices as set out by ACAS. This is a nationally recognised set of employment practices that go beyond doing only what is legal, but also to behave in a fair manner towards all employees. This is an important value within Pathfinders-Care. This set of employment values is independently set and is transparent through the national ACAS website.
As an employer we have always delivered full employment contracts (not annual hours or zero hours contracts). We have always given the maximum amount into an independently run pension scheme run by a nationally recognised first-class pension provider: Royal London.
We have always ensured that training and career development are key to our role as an employer and you will know for yourselves that you and your colleagues have excellent training opportunities and career advancement available to you. We are surrounded by living examples of that.
We are about to send our first two fully funded Apprentice Nurse Associates to Lincoln University to take up the very first places on this prestigious course. Apprentices on this course will continue on full time contracts at Pathfinders-Care, therefore being able to study and earn a living at the same time. This is a game changer for those of you who thought going to study a profession was beyond you and too expensive to pursue.
Moving forward we will have up to six Apprentice Nurse Associate places each year. Many of these people will then complete the conversion course to become registered nurses. And it doesn’t stop there, as we look forward to adding Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist and Speech & Language Therapist training to this development pathway in the near future, as these become available. We are currently setting up our Care Academy led by Lucy Chojnacki and supported by Karen Godber, Juliet Elce and me.
The Care Academy will oversee all training, development, career pathways and visiting students and will become a central hub for professional standards, learning and development.
What you may not be aware of is that we have always striven to find ways to improve our employees’ wages and the Skills Passport is a good example of how we can help people improve their earning capacity through acquiring and using increased skills. But we want to do more, so moving to the Real Living Wage is the next step.
We have all worked hard and many have shown massive bravery and fortitude in the face of the uncertainties and difficulties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. We have all kept our patients and each other safe. It has also shown us that we are very good at looking after and caring for patients with very complex physical needs.
Unlike other care homes that have struggled in the pandemic, we have found out what makes us stronger and this has let us move into an area of care that is highly sort after but difficult to find. We have all had to increase our skill levels to manage this level of care. It is not just the skill level that has risen, the fee levels for this type of patient are higher too. Because of this it is appropriate to reward the additional hard work, tenacity and skill level with a better rate of pay. So, we are finally able to realise a long-held desire to move to the Real Living Wage.
What does this mean for you?
The new entry rate of pay will be £9.50 - £11. You will be contacted individually about your personal increase during September.
Example: if you are currently working a 42-hour contract at £8.91 your pay will rise by 59p per hour to £9.50 = £24.79 per week.
If you are currently on a higher rate than the example, you will receive an increase to ensure differentials are maintained, Remember, learning and using new skills and maintaining your mandatory training up to date is the best way to increase your wage.
The change will start from the 1st September and will apply to anyone who is on less than £11. Please be aware that as the overtime project over the last 12 weeks has been so successful, we will be maintaining the increased over time rate.
Our plans for the future
One of the things that makes life tough is the feeling that we need more staff, so we are looking to increase the number of staff on each unit and will be looking for innovative ways to be appealing for people to come forward to work at Pathfinders-Care. Our new pay rate and the guaranteed working values that I have highlighted above should make us a very attractive place to work. Make sure you spread the word. More staff with higher skills means we can continue with our chosen path of complex care and ensures our futures and life opportunities.
Lastly, a heartfelt thank you for your hard work, care and compassion that sets us apart as an excellent care environment. Your commitment to learning and using new skills not only makes patients’ lives better but also secures valuable work and future employment,