£12 million cash boost for care workers in Hertfordshire

Hertfordshire County Council has unveiled plans to put an extra £12 million into the pockets of Hertfordshire’s care workforce.

Friday, 10th January 2020, 4:08 pm
Updated Friday, 10th January 2020, 4:09 pm

They aim to recognise the highly skilled role that our 30,000 care workers play in supporting older and disabled people by investing in their care workforce where they feel it will have the greatest impact - directly into pay.

Our close proximity to London and low unemployment has, in the past meant that we have struggled to recruit and retain these highly skilled workers.

The new plans help to build a system in Hertfordshire which financially rewards those working in social care.

Councillor Richard Roberts, Executive Member of Adult Care and Health

Richard Roberts, Executive Member of Adult Care and Health of Hertfordshire County Council, said;

“It takes a special person to care, and we hear time and time again from our care workforce that they do this job because it’s a vocation, supporting people to live as independently as possible.

“We hope that this extra pay will help us to encourage some of the people who have left social care to work in other sectors to come back to social care - and that people who may not have been financially able to consider care as a career choice before will come and join us now.

“Without people working in care the whole health and social care system would collapse. We are hoping this investment reinforces our message to those frontline workers; we are listening, we value the role you play in our society and we want you to continue providing quality support to those who need it.”

The extra £12m would come from an additional two per cent increase in council tax, known as the ‘social care precept’, which is ring-fenced to help ease some of the funding pressures in providing adult social care. Hertfordshire County Council can choose how and where to spend the money but are proposing to invest all of it into improving the pay of people delivering this care in our communities.

Colin Horne, Managing Director of Care By Us, one of the lead providers of care to people in their own homes in Hertfordshire, said;

“We have a lot of great people working hard each day to support vulnerable Hertfordshire residents in need of social care, and it would be fantastic if we could offer them an increase in pay as a step forward to reflecting the value of their work to our communities.

“As a large employer in the county, any potential additional funding that can be made available should and would be passed onto our workforce. It would make a significant difference to our ongoing challenge of recruiting and retaining care staff, so we look forward to hearing the Councillors' decision on this proposal.”

During January and February, they’ll be working with care providers to finalise plans on how best to implement any additional funding. The financial proposals will be included in the 2020/21 budget and put before councillors for a final decision on 25 February 2020.