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Digest: Research calls for action on 'chronic low pay' for care workers

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Care workers’ wages and working conditions must improve to prevent an estimated 400,000 workforce shortage, research has found.

The Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) says an extra £450m is needed to give care workers the real ‘living wage’, with a current workforce crisis undermining the quality of support and threatening the sustainability of the social care system in England.

The report published today, Fair Care: a workforce strategy for social care, highlights “chronic low pay, endemic job insecurity, and a lack of opportunities for progression within the sector”.

The IPPR analysis reveals more than 500,000 workers in social care, nearly half the workforce, are paid below the real living wage which is currently £10.55 per hour in London and £9.00 elsewhere.

The IPPR recommends that national insurance contributions should be increased by 1p in the pound to provide better pay and deliver personal care that is free at the point of need.

IPPR senior research fellow Joe Dromey described the pay and working conditions of the care workforce as a “national scandal”.

He added: ”Given that over four in five workers in social care are women, poverty pay in the sector is also a major contributor to the gender pay gap.”

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