Northumberland County Council rolls out guaranteed pay scheme for home care staff

Northumberland County CouncilNorthumberland County Council has rolled out a scheme that guarantees competitive pay and introduces a right to security of income for home care workers across the county.

Home care providers can sign up to the eight commitments in the Northumberland Guarantee, with support from the council and the local NHS service for the costs.

The commitments include a contract that guarantees employees will be paid for a minimum agreed number of hours each week and also includes sick pay, opportunities to work optional additional hours to increase earnings, a mileage rate of 45p a mile for time travelling between visits, and payment for time in training.

The guarantee also features a minimum income of at least £12 per hour, increasing to £12.45 in April or earlier for a variable visits-based contract, which is higher than both the national living wage and the real living wage. Employees on a fixed shifts contract during daytime will be paid at least £10.90 per hour, increasing to £12 in April or earlier, while those working an overnight shift will be paid at least at least £10.90 per hour, increasing to £12.00 in April or earlier.

Wendy Pattison, councillor at Northumberland County and cabinet member for Caring for Adults, said: “Home care workers who visit people in their own homes to provide them with care and support are carrying out one of the most important jobs in the health and care system. This is what makes it possible for many ill, disabled, or older people to maintain their independence and dignity.

“It isn’t essential to have previous experience of care work or specific qualifications. What matters is that enjoying working with people, and relating to the many different people staff will be working with, understanding what matters to them. Working in home care is not just an emotionally rewarding role, it is one of the most varied too.”