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To: The UK Government

Pay a real Living Wage for care workers facing poverty in England

All care workers need to earn at least the real Living Wage.

Over 400,000 workers in social care currently earn below the real Living Wage in England. In London, 80 per cent of care workers are paid below the London Living Wage.

Analysis by the Living Wage Foundation (June 2024) shows it would cost the future government £330 million to ensure care workers earn the real Living Wage.  This is less than 2 per cent of the social care budget for the coming year.

The real Living Wage is independently calculated annually, and is currently £12 per hour in the UK and £13.15 in London.

Why is this important?

We all have a connection to care work. Even if you can't immediately think of someone who draws on support or who is a paid care worker, every time you leave your house you are likely to be passed by care workers like me driving from visit to visit. I guarantee you have neighbours who are visited by carers and that there are care homes in your community.

To ensure support is available when we need it, it is essential that we are at the very least paid enough to cover the essential costs of living.

Currently, vast numbers of care workers are illegally paid below the National Minimum Wage as a result of unpaid travel time. Meanwhile, our income is often insecure, with zero-hours contracts the norm. This makes it practically impossible to plan and prompts many to accept any and all of the hours they are offered, causing burnout and poor quality of care. These terms of employment add untold pressure to a role which already carries a significant level of responsibility. Is it any wonder social care faces an acute recruitment and retention crisis?

Paying at least a real Living Wage for care workers which takes into account time spent travelling between visits is an essential place to start in addressing the joint crises of care quality and availability in England. It has already been done in Scotland and Wales, now - a full four years on from the nation's clap for carers - it's time to do the same in England.

This country depends on care workers, and the quality and availability of support depends on the UK Government taking action. Every care worker's dignity should be protected through payment of at least the real Living Wage.

Rachel Kelso, care worker and Citizens UK community leader

How it will be delivered

Citizens UK will deliver the petition in person to the new UK Government.

England, UK

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2024-06-11 09:24:12 +0100

1,000 signatures reached

2024-06-10 15:53:32 +0100

500 signatures reached

2024-06-10 13:53:47 +0100

100 signatures reached

2024-06-10 13:49:47 +0100

50 signatures reached

2024-06-10 13:47:58 +0100

25 signatures reached

2024-06-10 10:16:31 +0100

10 signatures reached