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Penrose Care raises care worker pay for Living Wage Week

Belsize Village, Hampstead, London – Penrose Care, the UK’s pioneer in the ethical provision of home care, has today announced that the new London Living Wage rate of £10.55/hour announced by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan this morning is effective immediately at Penrose Care for all staff. This is an increase of the prior London Living Wage rate of £10.20/hour and compares to the current national minimum wage rate for persons 25 and above (the mis-named “National Living Wage”) of £7.83/hour.

Robert Stephenson-Padron, managing director of Penrose Care, commented, following the pay increase:

“We are proud to be increasing our care workers’ pay in line with the cost of living in London so that all our colleagues can continue to work and live with dignity. Our ethical framework is essential to ensuring that the home care we deliver is excellent day in and day out. Our Living Wage commitment is the bedrock to other ethical labour practices at Penrose Care such as the payment of travel time between clients, complying with the minimum wage rates for sleep-in shifts, an occupational sickpay scheme, private medical insurance with Vitality Health, and free taxi rides home if ending work after 9pm. I wish all our staff a wonderful Living Wage Week 2018!”

Penrose Care with Living Wage chair and director

Penrose Care’s senior support worker Egle Viskantaite, managing director Robert Stephenson-Padron, Living Wage Foundation chair Stuart Wright of Aviva, Living Wage Foundation director Katherine Chapman and Penrose Care support worker Alica Mikitovičová at the launch of Living Wage Week 2018 at the Barbican Centre, London, UK. November 5, 2018.

Aya Khazaal (Pivoine) and Bob Padron (Penrose Care) with Mayor of London Sadiq Khan

Penrose Care’s managing director Robert Stephenson-Padron with Aya Khazaal of aspiring Living Wage employer Pivoine Nail Spa of Belsize Village and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan at the launch of Living Wage Week 2018 at the Barbican Centre, London, UK. November 5, 2018.

Media Contact

Penrose Care

Robert Stephenson-Padron – Managing Director: robert.padron@penrosecare.co.uk

Landline: 0207 435 2644

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Living Wage Foundation

John Hood – Media Manager: John.Hood@LivingWage.org.uk

Mobile: 07507 173649 Landline 0208 017 2936

About Penrose Care

Penrose Care is an ethical provider of home care services London, United Kingdom to adults with disabilities and elderly persons, including those with dementia.  The company operates upon a fundamental belief that to promote a caring workforce, the organisation itself must be caring. As the pioneer of ethics in home care in the UK, Penrose Care in 2012 became one of the first four providers in the country to become an Accredited Living Wage Employer and in 2013 the first independent sector provider to be compliant with Citizens UK’s landmark Social Care Charter. Penrose Care was named the Living Wage Champion for the London region in 2016 by the Living Wage Foundation and in 2018 received a national Living Wage Champion Award for Industry Leadership.

Penrose Care’s ethical approach promotes higher quality social care workers and low staff turnover which in turn results in excellent care. Penrose Care is headquartered in Belsize Village, north London and was founded by Robert Stephenson-Padron, a healthcare research analyst, and Dr. Matthew Knight, a hospital physician.

About the real Living Wage

The real Living Wage is the only rate calculated according to what people need to make ends meet. It provides a voluntary benchmark for employers that choose to take a stand by ensuring their staff earn a wage that meets the costs and pressures they face in their everyday lives.

The UK Living Wage is currently £9.00 per hour. There is a separate London Living Wage rate of £10.55 per hour to reflect the higher costs of transport, childcare and housing in the capital. These figures are calculated annually by the Resolution Foundation and overseen by the Living Wage Commission, based on the best available evidence on living standards in London and the UK.

The Living Wage Foundation is the organisation at the heart of the movement of businesses, organisations and individuals who campaign for the simple idea that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. We recognise and celebrate the leadership shown by responsible employers who voluntarily choose to go further and pay a real Living Wage based on the cost of living, not just the government minimum. There are currently over 4,700 accredited employers.

Special Relationship Heart

Neil Jameson and John McCain – Two heroes on both sides of the Atlantic

“We don’t put our heroes on pedestals just to remember them. We raise them up because we want to emulate their virtues.” – Megan McCain

By Robert Stephenson-Padron

I am writing to you from London in the United Kingdom, over 5,000 miles from my home town in California in the United States.

The recent passing of American statesman John McCain and retirement of British social justice champion Neil Jameson reminded me that the values we share when we are at our best transcend this vast distance.

Neil Jameson and John McCain are two heroes of the modern era from two different lands very far from each other, who I expect may have never met each other, but where I find so many commonalities in their values.

These are my reflections on these values and what I believe we can learn from them.

Who is Neil Jameson and who was John McCain?

Neil Jameson has dedicated his life to others through civil society organising. After first working as a social worker, Mr. Jameson traveled to America to learn the skills of community organising from the Industrial Areas Foundation. Returning to Britain, Mr. Jameson founded Citizens UK and has been promoting community organising in the UK since 1989. Citizens UK empowers foundational groups in British society such as synagogues, churches, mosque and schools by convincing them to work together to advance positive change in their communities.

Neil Jameson is the best form of warrior you find in a democracy. A patient builder of fruitful endeavours – Neil Jameson is the unheralded father of the UK’s modern Living Wage movement which since its inception in the early 2000s has positively impacted over 100,000 low-wage workers in Britain. (1) A collaborative fighter against injustice – Neil Jameson united British civil society against usurious loan sharks and on his last day at the helm of Citizens UK, was able to bid good riddance to Britain’s largest payday lender. (2)

Neil Jameson on rubbish duty at Care in the Square

Neil Jameson on rubbish duty at Care in the Square, Parliament Square, London, UK on March 31, 2014.

John McCain dedicated his life to the United States of America and its revolutionary ideals. He served as a US Navy pilot during the Vietnam War, survived being a tortured captive of Communist forces in Vietnam, dedicated his life to legislative service first in the US House of Representatives (1983-1987) and then the US Senate (from 1987); was a nominee for US president in 2008; and while a legislator helped freedom aspiring democrats around the world as chair of the International Republican Institute from 1993 to 2018.

John McCain was the best form of warrior you find in a democracy. A volunteer who risk physical harm or death to defend the innocent – John McCain risked his life to fight for strangers in a far off land against autocracy. A peacemaker and uniter – John McCain helped with reconciliation between the United States and Vietnam and he led a legislative career that recognised that his fellow democrats in the opposing political party were fellow countrymen, not foes.

John McCain visiting orphanage in Vietnam

Then U.S. Navy Commander John S. McCain III visiting an orphanage that cares for youngsters fathered by American G.I.s. in Saigon, Vietnam, on Oct. 30, 1974. McCain, a son of the admiral who commanded U.S. forces in the Pacific at the height of the Vietnam War, was shot down over Hanoi and spent several years as a prisoner of war (POW) from October 26, 1967 to March 14, 1973. (AP Photo/Dang Van Phuoc).

Both are and were dedicated family men.

Both men, empowered by selfless love, dedicated their lives to humble service and democracy. Both remind us of the values and ideals of the Trans-Atlantic bond that unite us across a vast ocean.

These heroes remind us of the values we share across the Atlantic

Journalist Madeline Schwartz this week, writing in the Guardian, asked, “if shared values and norms are the foundation of the liberal world order, what are they?” (3) Sen. McCain had the answer, summarising our Trans-Atlantic values by asserting that,

“We Stand For:

Truth against falsehood, 

Freedom against tyranny, 

Right against injustice,

Hope against despair.”  (4)

As Sir Winston Churchill asserted 72 years ago when he articulated Trans-Atlantic values to an American audience as British Prime Minister: “Here is the message of the British and American peoples to mankind. Let us preach what we practise – let us practise what we preach.” (5)

Sen. McCain lived these values. Neil Jameson continues to live them. Like the true heroes they are, their examples inspire the rest of us to want to live these values.

The heroism of Neil Jameson and John McCain reminded us of the beauty of our values

When I saw the universality of Mr. Jameson’s retirement celebration – people across the faiths, young and old – I was convinced that these values are universal. Our values are universal because they reflect the best virtues of humanity and there is infinite beauty in virtue, “as virtue is the beauty of the soul.” (6)

“We are blessed and are a blessing to humanity when we uphold and advance those ideals at home and in the world,” said John McCain in his final word to the American people, and in living these values, “helped liberate more people from tyranny and poverty than ever before in history.” (7)

My work in caring for the elderly keeps me close to the memories of past tyrannies. An elderly woman I know fled the Nazi terrors almost 80 years ago. Earlier this year, she told me: “There is nothing beautiful in the news today. There is no hope for humanity [in the portrayal of the world in the news]”. Her experiences of some of the worst horrors of history give credibility to her appraisal of our current age and I found it haunting.

The uplifting grace of Mr. Jameson’s retirement celebration, which I attended in person, and the memorial of Sen. McCain, which I observed from afar provided a reprieve from the dark world depicted by this refugee of the Nazi terrors. I saw that in the midst of so much darkness, heroism illuminates that which is beautiful.

How does one describe this beauty in words? Dr. Kaneeez Shaid, Chair of Citizens UK, said (audio link) at Mr. Jameson’s retirement celebration, “how do you sum up a man like this?” I feel she did not fail when she quoted the 13th century Sufi mystic, Rumi:

“You are not just a drop in the ocean but you are the world’s ocean in just one drop.” (8)

Wow.

Reflecting on this beauty I believe there are two core lessons I learned from attending Neil Jameson’s retirement celebration and watching from afar memorial remembrances of John McCain: 1) The centrality of love in their humble service, and 2) That true love led them to leave no one behind.

Lesson 1: The centrality of love in humble service

What is it that drives a true hero – a hero that endures countless hardship in the service to others? I believe John McCain’s daughter, Megan McCain, gave us the answer when she eulogised her father saying that “John McCain was defined by love.” (9) Love was the source of John McCain’s selfless and enduring service, which can best be described as humble service – service purified by “a value set that was neither selfish nor self-serving.” (10) In his retirement speech, Neil Jameson said that humility is a blessing. I would add then that humble service is a blessing to others. Humble service is an expression of selfless love that provides the courage for a person to provide extraordinary levels of heroism, including that of laying down their life for another. (11)

The idea that love is purifying is a foundational and enduring notion within our cultural heritage. Indeed, Paul of Tarsus wrote that,

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (12)

Thousands of years later, John McCain and Neil Jameson exemplify the truth in Paul’s ancient wisdom. It is this form of selfless love which helps explain why John McCain refused an early release from captivity during the Vietnam War until his fellow prisoners of war were also released – a decision that put him through cruel torture that left him with lifelong physical impairments. (13) It is this form of selfless love which explains why such a giant of brilliance like Neil Jameson dedicated his life to a cause of the poor in East London and around the UK – a cause requiring enormous sweat but modest material gain.

I have also observed the truth of this link in my own work in care for the elderly. Although we rarely mention it by name, love is the true power of my organisation and my colleagues. This truth was brought to my attention when a clinician and family member of an elderly person we support told me, “I am genuinely impressed by how careful and comprehensive [your organisation] is… in trying to care for her and love her (yes, that’s the word).” We do not talk speak often in our society about how love can empower our work but we should.

There is an especially important human emotion that love purifies: anger. Anger that boils in us from being wronged or seeing others wronged can destroy, do nothing or create. In his retirement speech, Neil Jameson referred to two forms of anger and also warned against timidity:

  • “Angry hostility” (known as “hot anger” in the parlance of community organising) which Mr. Jameson said is a “mistake, it’s unhealthy, it doesn’t lead to relationships.” This is an anger that destroys. I would put anger that does nothing also in the destructive side because if a person does nothing in the face of evil, then that evil is likely to remain unabated and may increase. “Timidity is a problem, we have to be more courageous but humble with our wits,” Neil Jameson said in his retirement speech. And,
  • “Cold anger”, a concept of American community organising pioneer Saul Alinksy. Cold anger is reflective anger purified by building character within oneself which leads people to work together, to build relationships and to muster the courage and persistence to fight against injustice and create a better world. (14)

It was cold anger which led to the Magna Carta, cold anger which led to the American Declaration of Independence, cold anger which led to VE Day and V-J Day, cold anger that led to the Washington Treaty, cold anger which has driven the expansion of democracy – “the best system of government” (15)  – across the world. It is cold anger which drives people of goodwill to continue fighting against injustice wherever they find it.

Anger purified by love – as it is love that directs pain and suffering to the build-up of character – drives the courage of our heroes. This must be why Megan McCain said that her father John McCain had a “famous temper” but was also “defined by love”. (9) I believe it is love that likely illuminated to John McCain that “evil is a real and active force in human affairs and that it is our duty to oppose it as best we can.” (16)

It is selfless love that has led my organisation to herald decent work for social care workers within and cold anger which has compelled us to combat widespread labour exploitation of social care workers outside our organisation.

Lesson 2: True love leaves no one behind

In 1893, the Cuban writer José Martí reflected that: “Mankind is composed of two sorts of men – those who love and create and those who hate and destroy.” (17) I believe that this is probably roughly true but caution an overly simplistic interpretation. I would say that a person can, in an unbalanced pursuit to create, start at the first and end in the later. For instance, I would consider it a failure if a person created a vast business empire but forgets their spouse and has children that are effectively unknown to them. They are then in the later camp because they are destroying one good thing while building another thing.

I expect this reality is why for instance, the Franciscan Friars who honoured Mr. Jameson at his retirement celebration have foregone families born of intimacy for families born of spirituality, so they can sacrifice themselves almost completely to the service of strangers. However, those of us who are not friars cannot do this. And I do see in the world today, mired by unfulfilling pursuits for material comforts, a tendency to sacrifice those closer to us in a pursuit for the other. This is not however, genuine sacrifice but more likely a manifestation of selfishness.

In society today, service to strangers gives you a brownie button – societal recognition – whereas service behind closed doors, say to one’s family, gives you almost no outside recognition. The later however is what we must learn as this is where we learn “humble service”. That is, we must serve others irrespective of praise or monetary reward. We should serve others because it is morally right and a manifestation of sacred ideals and values for which we are custodians. I believe this is in part what John McCain meant when he said we stand for “right against injustice,” and why former US Vice President Joe Biden said John McCain “could not stand the abuse of power – wherever he saw it, in whatever form, in whatever ways” (10) –  as selfishness disguised as service is a perversion of humble service.

Therefore, unbalanced service to one party at the undue expense of another party is likely to turn your service into service to yourself. Your original good intentions could thus transform into one of the seven deadly sins of vain glory. This must be avoided. And it can be avoided by remembering your family, your roots. In fairly allocating our time we build humility as we learn that we cannot do everything ourselves and this pushes us to rely on others, to build relationships with others.

Positively, service to strangers in its balanced form prepares us to serve our families better. A willingness to forego the constant pursuit of more in the service of others teaches us the meaning of love and indeed, of life – to put another’s wellbeing ahead of our own. And we learn a peace in this form of service which helps us bring peace to our families. As John McCain said in his final words to the American people he loved so much, “To be connected to America’s causes — liberty, equal justice, respect for the dignity of all people — brings happiness more sublime than life’s fleeting pleasures.” (7) Neil Jameson at his retirement speech (audio link) reiterated this peace in service when he said,

“So many of us spend [our] time, and I did when I was much younger, going round and round… looking for the meaning of life and then frankly was blessed to be in a position to find a smidgen of it… it’s all about people and institutions, it’s all about head teachers, priests, rabbis and others who give their life to civil society and institutions which are so important for us to learn how to work together and be together in faith and for justice, and for a strong common good.”

Complimentarily, service to our families forges our ability to love, which further empowers our ability to serve strangers – because as noted earlier, love is purifying. The truth of this assertion is demonstrated in the family lives of Neil Jameson and John McCain. In an era where intimate relationships have become throw-away recreational activities, Mr. Jameson and Sen. McCain maintain/ed lifelong commitments to their families while at the same time dedicating their lives to the service of strangers. At Mr. Jameson’s retirement party, Mrs. Jean Jameson, Neil Jameson’s wife, highlighted (audio link) to the attendees, to my surprise indeed (!) when she said: “I’m so sorry that the staff in talking about the last thirty years missed out completely that Neil had managed to have four children, seven grandchildren, ate meals at home… played tennis and generally had a very good life-work balance.”

It should be no surprise however that the staff of Citizens UK “missed out completely” this part of Neil’s life possibly because they felt that he gave so much of himself to them that they failed to comprehend how much he was also giving to his family at home. With both parties feeling so embraced by Mr. Jameson’s service and love, we must conclude that he struck the right balance between serving one’s family and serving those outside of our families – our communities.

What is the source of this balance between serving strangers and serving our families – a balance that leaves neither behind? I believe Neil Jameson in his retirement speech possibly honed into a key source when he echoed the ancient wisdom of Memento Mori: “Focus on time because we know time is precious and that we all will die… which is why we shouldn’t waste time.” Being mindful of our mortality, that time is limited, we are likely to serve others at the most optimal allocated times so that indeed, we leave no one behind.

At Sen. McCain’s funeral, his daughter Megan McCain in her powerful eulogy said, “This love of my father for my mother was the most fierce and lasting of them all, mom. Let me tell you what love meant to John McCain and me. His love was the love of a father who mentors as much as he comforts. He was endlessly present for us.” (9)

Presence – that is how we learn to leave no one behind. Indeed, showing up is an act of love.

Therefore, if we are to learn to not leave behind strangers, shouldn’t we first learn not to leave behind those closest to us – our friends and our family? We begin by going to that baby shower. That baptism. That school play. That graduation. Remembering that anniversary. Attending that wedding. Mourning at that funeral. Remembering and being with that family at home – being with that friend in need across town. I work with the elderly and the dying. I can tell you with near certainty that these small acts of love are what will matter to you before you make that final flight.

When we receive and give love, we are better able to understand our fellow human beings. In my work in elderly care, love inspires us to do our best and to be our best.

Closing

“Those who say that we’re in a time when there are not heroes, they just don’t know where to look,” said Ronald Reagan in 1981. (18) His statement remains true today. There are heroes among us. One, John McCain, has just passed into the next world but his memory will provide inspiration to people of goodwill for generations. Another, Neil Jameson, is still with us and we are all blessed by his continued wisdom, warmth and good works.

The unity of the values of these two great men is such that there is a powerful complementarity in some of their parting wisdom.  In his final words to the American people, John McCain said, “Our identities and sense of worth are not circumscribed but enlarged by serving good causes bigger than ourselves.” (7) And in speaking of good causes in his retirement speech, Neil Jameson said, “Never give up… this is a holy and a religious pursuit that we have… to persuade people to work together.” These messages coalesce into a powerful message: never give up in the good causes you serve.

Thank you John McCain, my fellow American. Please continue fighting for the lowly up from Heaven. Thank you Neil Jameson, my fellow British democrat. Thank you for being a hero. And thank you both for reminding us of how strongly united the people of America and the United Kingdom are in the values we share when we are at our best.

Robert Stephenson-Padron, aged 33, is the managing director of Penrose Care. Since age 15, he has been active in a variety of civic causes including affordable housing, the Living Wage and improved working conditions for social care workers.

Robert Stephenson-Padron meets Neil Jameson

Photo of the Citizens UK event where Penrose Care managing director Robert Stephenson-Padron met Neil Jameson at Friends House, London, UK on October 15, 2013.

 

Robert Stephenson-Padron with Neil Jameson on his retirement day

Penrose Care managing director with Citizens UK Executive Director Neil Jameson on the day of his retirement from that position at Citizens UK HQ, east London, UK on August 31, 2018.

References

(1) Edmund Heery, Deborah Hann, David Nash, “The Living Wage campaign in the UK” (Employee Relations, 2017, Vol. 39 Issue: 6), pgs. 800-814, available online here.

(2) “Payday lender Wonga goes into administration: Citizens UK reaction” (Citizens UK: 31 August 2018), available online here.

(3) Madeleine Schwartz, “The end of Atlanticism: has Trump killed the ideology that won the cold war?” (The Guardian: 04 September 2018), available online here.

(4) John McCain, “Remarks by SASC Chairman John McCain At the 2017 Munich Security Conference” (Office of US Senator John McCain, 17 February 2017), available online here.

(5) Churchill, Winston “The Sinews of Peace” (International Churchill Society: 5 March 1946), available online here.

(6) Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, in 12 vols. Fireside Edition (Boston and New York, 1909), available online here.

(7) “Read full text of Sen. John McCain’s final words to nation” (NBC News: 27 August 2018), available online here.

(8) Matt Auron, “Evolution is Everywhere” (Medium: 14 December 2017), available online here.

(9) “Read the full text of Meghan McCain’s speech at John McCain’s memorial service” (NBC News: 01 September 2018), available online here.

(10) Megan Freidman, “Joe Biden Gave an Incredibly Powerful Speech at John McCain’s Memorial” (Town and Country Magazine:  30 August 2018), available online here.

(11) John 15:13, NLT, available online here.

(12) 1 Cor. 13:4-7, NIV, available online here.

(13) Eliza Relman, “As a POW in Vietnam, John McCain refused release until his fellow prisoners were freed, making him a hero in the eyes of many” (Business Insider, 26 August 2018), available online here.

(14) Vijay Phulwani, “The Poor Man’s Machiavelli: Saul Alinsky and the Morality of Power” (American Political Science Review, 2016, Vol 110 No. 4.), pg 873, available online here.

(15) Carnes Lord and Fank Barnett (ed), Political warfare and psychological operations (National Defense University Press, 1989), pg. 8, available online here.

(16) As was said in a eulogy of one of his colleagues in the international movement for democracy, Jean Bethke Elshtain who passed before him five years earlier. | William Glaston, “Remembering Jean Bethke Elshtain” (The New Republic, 26 August 2013), available online here.

(17) Bruce Ladd Gary, Quotes for Misanthropes (Reductionist Publications, 2009), pg. 30, available online here.

(18) Ronald Reagan, “Inaugural Address” (UC Santa Barbara: 20 January 1981) , available online here.

 

2016-10-31 (Penrose Care) Living Wage celebration

We praise UNISON for seeking leave to appeal on sleep-in case

Belsize Village, London, UK: Following UNISON’s statement yesterday that it has asked the UK Supreme Court for leave to appeal against the Court of Appeal decision in Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson-Blake, Penrose Care’s managing director Robert Stephenson-Padron, a long-time advocate for the ethical treatment of home care workers, made the following statement:

“Penrose Care praises UNISON, the British labour union which includes social care workers and managers, in seeking a leave to appeal against the Court of Appeal’s morally repugnant decision of 13 July 2018 in the care worker sleep-in case Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson-Blake at the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.

Since Penrose Care commenced trading in 2013, we have abided by the obvious interpretation of the law that care workers need to be paid at least the minimum wage for sleep-in shifts. We were aware then and have remained aware that many other social care providers have ignored the law, and therefore took on social care contracts priced at rates whereby legal compliance would make them unprofitable. We on the other hand consciously rejected such work and will always reject work that inhibits our civic responsibilities of legal compliance and our moral obligation to respect the dignity of all human persons, especially our colleagues and the vulnerable persons we support.

If a judiciary ignores the law and instead makes decisions based off of the sectoral impacts of their decisions, then such a judiciary is making a mockery of the rule of law and promoting a culture of impunity in society. We absolutely reject such a thing as citizens of a free and democratic society. A culture of impunity also specifically harms ethical organisations such as Penrose Care which not only takes great efforts to comply with the law out of civic virtue, but also goes above and beyond legal minimums to uphold our belief that respect for the dignity of the human person is superior to all other aims.

Penrose Care will continue to abide by the most obvious interpretation of the law which is to pay at least the national minimum-wage / national live wage for sleep-in shifts even if certain of our peers en mass decide to continue exploiting and abusing Britain’s vital social care workforce.

Penrose Care wishes UNISON every success in their appeal to the Supreme Court, should it be accepted, and thank you for standing up for our brother and sister care workers.”

Media Contact

Robert Stephenson-Padron – Managing Director – 020 7435 2644

About Penrose Care

Penrose Care is an ethical provider of home care services London, United Kingdom to adults with disabilities and elderly persons, including those with dementia.  The company operates upon a fundamental belief that to promote a caring workforce, the organisation itself must be caring. As the pioneer of ethics in home care in the UK, Penrose Care in 2012 became one of the first four providers in the country to become an Accredited Living Wage Employer and in 2013 the first independent sector provider to be compliant with Citizens UK’s landmark Social Care Charter. Penrose Care was named the Living Wage Champion for the London region in 2016 by the Living Wage Foundation and in 2018 received a national Living Wage Champion Award for Industry Leadership.

Penrose Care’s ethical approach promotes higher quality social care workers and low staff turnover which in turn results in excellent care. Penrose Care is headquartered in Belsize Village, north London and was founded by Robert Stephenson-Padron, a healthcare research analyst, and Dr. Matthew Knight, a hospital physician.

Robert's Story

Sleep-in shifts judgement is an affront to the dignity of care workers

Belsize Village, London, UK: Following the London Court of Appeal’s judgement in favour of Mencap in Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson-Blake, overturning a previous ruling at the Employment Appeals Tribunal in April 2017, Penrose Care’s managing director Robert Stephenson-Padron, a long-time advocate for the ethical treatment of home care workers, made the following statement:

“The London Court of Appeal’s decision today in Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson-Blake is a horrific miscarriage of justice and an affront to the dignity of the human person.

I would 100% endorse UNISON taking the case to the Supreme Court. The last time UNISON went to the Supreme Court in R (on the application of UNISON) v Lord Chancellor in July 2017, they won and changed Britain for the better. I expect if UNISON took Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson-Blake to the Supreme Court, this would result in a repeat of their prior triumph for justice for ordinary working people.

Penrose Care will continue to abide by the most obvious interpretation of the law which is to pay at least the national minimum-wage / national live wage for sleep-ins even if certain of our peers en mass decide to continue exploiting and abusing Britain’s vital social care workforce. This is the morally right thing to do. Penrose Care has been paying at least the minimum wage for sleep-in shifts since we commenced trading in 2013 as the law was clear then and it remains clear.”

Media Contact

Robert Stephenson-Padron – Managing Director – 020 7435 2644

About Penrose Care

Penrose Care is an ethical provider of home care services London, United Kingdom to adults with disabilities and elderly persons, including those with dementia.  The company operates upon a fundamental belief that to promote a caring workforce, the organisation itself must be caring. As the pioneer of ethics in home care in the UK, Penrose Care in 2012 became one of the first four providers in the country to become an Accredited Living Wage Employer and in 2013 the first independent sector provider to be compliant with Citizens UK’s landmark Social Care Charter. Penrose Care was named the Living Wage Champion for the London region in 2016 by the Living Wage Foundation.

Penrose Care’s ethical approach promotes higher quality social care workers and low staff turnover which in turn results in excellent care. Penrose Care is headquartered in Belsize Village, north London and was founded by Robert Stephenson-Padron, a healthcare research analyst, and Dr. Matthew Knight, a hospital physician.

Penrose Care – Living Wage Champion!

Belsize Village, London, UK: Last night, Penrose Care was announced as a winner of the Living Wage Champion Awards 2018 award for Industry Leadership.

The 2018 Living Wage Champion Awards celebrate individuals and organisations that have made an outstanding contribution to the Living Wage movement, and are proudly sponsored by Aviva, KPMG and the City of London Corporation.

In 2012 Penrose Care became one of the first four Living Wage accredited care homes. In an industry that has often struggled with low pay, Penrose Care used the real Living Wage as the foundation on which to roll out further outstanding labour standards; including guaranteed weekly hours, payment for travel time, private medical insurance and an occupational sick-pay scheme. These standards have set Penrose apart from its peers, and highlighted the possibility of decent pay and conditions within the care sector.

One of three winners of the Industry Leadership Award, including The Haven Wolverhampton and Unlimited Potential, Penrose Care were commended for their promotion of the Living Wage. Other shortlisted organisations included Curzon Cinemas and Creature.

Robert Stephenson-Padron, managing director of Penrose Care, said:

“Since our founding, Penrose Care has been the UK’s pioneer of the ethical provision of home care. The real Living Wage has been the cornerstone of our ethical framework as it is one of the most credible signs to all our stakeholders that Penrose Care is a genuinely caring organisation that respects the dignity of the human person – client, worker, or any other. We are greatly humbled in receiving the Industry Leadership Award from the Living Wage Foundation. The Living Wage Champion Award will further Penrose Care’s confidence in leading a caring organisation which engenders trust and honesty, two of the qualities needed to provide excellent care consistently.”

2018-06-08 (Penrose Care) Receiving Living Wage Champion Award

Robert Stephenson-Padron accepts the 2018 Living Wage Champion Industry Leadership Award on Penrose Care’s behalf. Looking on, Stuart Wright, Chair of the Living Wage Foundation. Alicia Lerche, support worker; and Olga García Gómez, deputy care manager at Penrose Care, and event host.

Olga García Gómez, who started at Penrose Care in 2014 as a support worker and now is a deputy manager, said:

“I am grateful to be part of Penrose Care, a company that takes great care of their staff and clients. The company feels more like a family and whereby you always feel supported due to a variety of ethical working conditions including the London Living Wage, and having available a manager 24/7. In addition to all this, you can develop your professional career at Penrose Care as I have. For someone coming from abroad, all these factors are very important in a job.”

Alicia Lerche, home care support worker; Olga García Gómez, deputy manager; and Robert Stephenson-Padron, managing director of Penrose Care after receiving the 2018 Living Wage Champion award.

Tess Lanning, Director of the Living Wage Foundation, said:

“Congratulations to Penrose Care on becoming a Living Wage Champion award winner. Employers like Penrose Care are leading the way in placing dignity and respect at the heart of their organisation. Over 4,200 employers have now signed up to the movement, and their leadership is making a profound difference to the lives of families and communities across the UK. Penrose Care’s work in celebrating and championing the Living Wage has been vital to its success.”

The Living Wage is an hourly pay rate set independently, updated annually, and calculated according to the basic cost of living. Employers choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis.

The awards were judged by an independent panel of business and community leaders.

2018-06-08 (Penrose Care) Neil Jameson Bob Padron Alicia Lerche Olga Garcia Kaneez Shaid

Left to right: Neil Jameson CBE, founder and executive director of Citizens UK; Robert Stephenson-Padron, Penrose Care managing director; Alicia Lerche, home care support worker of Penrose Care; Olga García Gómez, deputy manager of Penrose Care; and Dr Kaneez Shaid MBE, Chair of Trustees of Citizens UK at the Living Wage Champion Awards 2018 at Guildhall, London.

Media Contact

John Hood – Media Manager: John.Hood@LivingWage.org.uk

Mobile: 07507 173649 Landline 0208 017 2936

About the real Living Wage

The real Living Wage is the only rate calculated according to what people need to make ends meet. It provides a voluntary benchmark for employers that choose to take a stand by ensuring their staff earn a wage that meets the costs and pressures they face in their everyday lives.

The UK Living Wage is currently £8.75 per hour. There is a separate London Living Wage rate of £10.20 per hour to reflect the higher costs of transport, childcare and housing in the capital. These figures are calculated annually by the Resolution Foundation and overseen by the Living Wage Commission, based on the best available evidence on living standards in London and the UK.

The Living Wage Foundation is the organisation at the heart of the movement of businesses, organisations and individuals who campaign for the simple idea that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. We recognise and celebrate the leadership shown by responsible employers who voluntarily choose to go further and pay a real Living Wage based on the cost of living, not just the government minimum. There are currently over 4,200 accredited employers.

What’s the difference between the real Living Wage and the Government’s national living wage?

In April 2016 the government introduced a higher minimum wage rate for all staff over 25 years of age inspired by the Living Wage campaign – even calling it the ‘national living wage’.

However, the government’s ‘national living wage’ is not calculated according to what employees and their families need to live. Instead, it is based on a target to reach 60% of median earnings by 2020. Under current forecasts this means a rise to less than £9 per hour by 2020. For under 25s, the minimum wage rates also take into account affordability for employers.

The real Living Wage rates are higher because they are independently-calculated based on what people need to get by. That’s why the Living Wage Foundation encourages all employers that can afford to do so to ensure their employees earn a wage that meets the costs of living, not just the government minimum.

The judges for the 2018 Living Wage Champion Awards were:

  • Dr Kaneez Shaid MBE, Campaigner and Chair of the Citizens UK Board of Trustees
  • Rosie Gillham, Living Wage employee and campaigner
  • Yvonne Roberts, freelance journalist, writer and broadcaster, The Observer
  • Jane Gratton, Head of Business Environment and Skills Policy at British Chambers of Commerce
  • Matt Sparkes, Head of Corporate Responsibility, Linklaters LLP
  • Tess Lanning, Director of the Living Wage Foundation

About Penrose Care

Penrose Care is an ethical provider of home care services London, United Kingdom to adults with disabilities and elderly persons, including those with dementia.  The company operates upon a fundamental belief that to promote a caring workforce, the organisation itself must be caring. As the pioneer of ethics in home care in the UK, Penrose Care in 2012 became one of the first four providers in the country to become an Accredited Living Wage Employer and in 2013 the first independent sector provider to be compliant with Citizens UK’s landmark Social Care Charter. Penrose Care was named the Living Wage Champion for the London region in 2016 by the Living Wage Foundation.

Penrose Care’s ethical approach promotes higher quality social care workers and low staff turnover which in turn results in excellent care. Penrose Care is headquartered in Belsize Village, north London and was founded by Robert Stephenson-Padron, a healthcare research analyst, and Dr. Matthew Knight, a hospital physician.

2018-06-08 (Penrose Care) Living Wage Champion Family Photo

2018 Living Wage Champions Family Photo.

Penrose Care shortlisted for Living Wage Champion Awards 2018

Living Wage Champion 2018 Shortlisted

London, England, UK – Penrose Care has been shortlisted by the Living Wage Foundation for the Living Wage Champion Awards 2018.

The awards recognise Living Wage employers and individuals that have made great contributions to communities and industries by implementing and celebrating the Living Wage.

Following the announcement which was made on 19 March 2018, today Penrose Care managing director Robert Stephenson-Padron said: “Penrose Care is honoured to be shortlisted for the 2018 Living Wage Champion ‘Industry Leadership Award’ along with other inspiring employers such as Curzon Cinemas. Penrose Care’s innovation in Britain’s home care sector is to be the first comprehensively ethical employer in the vital industry that supports the most vulnerable in our society remain independent in their own homes. Our innovations of the heart and spirit, rooted in respect for the dignity of the human person, have demonstrated that this is the surest way to deliver excellent social care day in and day out.”

Tess Lanning, Director of the Living Wage Foundation, said:

“I would like to offer huge congratulations to Penrose Care on being shortlisted for the Living Wage Champion Awards. By committing to responsible pay, employers like Penrose Care have changed the lives of thousands of people across the UK, lifting workers out of poverty and transforming communities. We look forward to celebrating again in June when we announce the winners.”

The Living Wage is an hourly pay rate set independently, updated annually, and calculated according to the basic cost of living.

Employers choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis, and almost 4,000 accredited employers have now committed to put respect and dignity at the heart of their organisations by paying the Living Wage.

The awards are judged by an independent panel of business and community leaders, and winners will be announced in June.

Notes to editors

The Living Wage Foundation’s shortlist announcement can be found here

Media Contact

John Hood – Media Manager: John.Hood@LivingWage.org.uk

Mobile: 07507 173649 Landline 0208 017 2936

The Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually. The real Living Wage is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK. Employers choose to pay this wage on a voluntary basis. The real Living Wage enjoys cross-party support.

The UK Living Wage is currently £8.75 per hour. The London Living Wage is currently £10.20 per hour. This figure covers all boroughs in Greater London. These figures are calculated annually by the Resolution Foundation and overseen by the Living Wage Commission, based on the best available evidence on living standards in London and the UK.

The Living Wage Foundation recognises and celebrates the leadership shown by Living Wage employers across the UK. There are currently over 4,000 accredited employers. We are an initiative of Citizens UK. We believe that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. We support responsible employers to voluntarily go further than the government minimum and pay the real Living Wage, to all their staff, so they can earn enough to meet the cost of living.

We receive guidance and advice from the Living Wage Advisory Council. The Foundation is supported by our principal partners: Burberry; GSK; Aviva; IKEA; Joseph Rowntree Foundation; KPMG; Linklaters; Nationwide; Nestle; Resolution Foundation; Oxfam; Trust for London; People’s Health Trust and Queen Mary University of London.

What about the Government’s national living wage?

In July 2015 the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that the UK Government would introduce a compulsory ‘national living wage’. This new governmentrate is a new minimum wage rate for staff over 25 years old. It was introduced in April 2016 and the current rate is £7.50 per hour, rising to £7.83 in April 2018. The rate is separate to the Living Wage rate calculated by the Living Wage Foundation.  The government rate is based on median earnings while the Living Wage Foundation rate is calculated according to the cost of living.

2016-09-21 (BBC Radio 4 Today) Robert Stephenson-Padron Penrose Care

Penrose Care head comments on NAO’s care recruitment crisis report

Belsize Village, London, UK: Following the release of the National Audit Office’s new report on the ongoing recruitment crisis in social care in England, Penrose Care’s managing director, Robert Stephenson-Padron, who has been an outspoken advocate of improving the attractiveness of careers in social care, made the following public statement:

Penrose Care praises the National Audit Office for highlighting the severe difficulties England’s social care sector faces hiring new care workers. We would note the NAO’s history of promoting reform in social care, notably in 2014 when it shed light on poor enforcement of the national minimum wage in the home care sector.

We’re proud that the sad description of care workers as being undervalued with little opportunity for career progression by the NAO report authors does not apply to Penrose Care.

Penrose Care offers its care workers a variety of ethical labour standards – the London Living Wage as a minimum wage rate has been our core commitment since we established in 2012, as well as payment for travel time, overtime for nights, weekends and bank holidays; the minimum wage plus for sleep-ins, the costs of training and criminal checks borne by us not our workers, and the payment of wages for training time. Overtime, working with Citizens UK and informed by research done by Unison, we rolled out further ethical labour standards: an occupational sickpay scheme (substantially over and above what is required by statute), guaranteed minimum hours of work, a pension scheme, and free taxis home for workers leaving work after 21:00 to help ensure their safety and reduce stress.

Penrose Care’s ethical labour standards, with the London Living Wage as an anchor, have in my view allowed us to attract and retain some of the most talented social care professionals in the country.

With respect to the NAO’s concern over difficulties of the sector recruiting registered managers, Penrose Care would highlight that our guaranteeing minimum hours, which brings some front line workers into the office at times to assist, has allowed us to identify management talent from the front line. We’re proud that currently we have two colleagues at Penrose Care pursuing the qualification needed to be a registered manager, and both of them started at Penrose Care as front line home care workers.

However, challenges with recruitment remain. Since the Brexit vote in the summer or 2016, we have had to spend money to find new applicants whereas before we attracted them organically and we have seen a spike in new recruits not passing our probationary periods, demonstrating that finding quality new recruits is even more difficult.

Where organisations like Penrose Care need a cross-civil society togetherness and push is in working to raise the way society sees social care. I absolutely love working in social care. It is the most rewarding and intellectually challenging work I have done in my life. We as a society, and indeed a world, need to get this message out. We can provide good labour standards but that is only part of the solution, we need to build up a profession that appeals better to persons planning their careers and those looking for more rewarding careers.

NOTES

  • On December 8, 2017, Robert Stephenson-Padron spoke about the social care recruitment crisis on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show. Some comments can be found here.
  • On September 21, 2016, Robert Stephenson-Padron spoke abou tthe social care recruitment crisis on BBC Radio 4’s Today program. The clip can be listened to here.

ENDS

Media Contact

Penrose Care

Robert Stephenson-Padron

robert.padron@penrosecare.co.uk

0207 435 2644

About Penrose Care

Penrose Care is an ethical provider of home care services London, United Kingdom to adults with disabilities and elderly persons, including those with dementia.  The company operates upon a fundamental belief that to promote a caring workforce, the organisation itself must be caring. As the pioneer of ethics in home care in the UK, Penrose Care in 2012 became one of the first four providers in the country to become an Accredited Living Wage Employer and in 2013 the first independent sector provider to be compliant with Citizens UK’s landmark Social Care Charter. Penrose Care was named the Living Wage Champion for the London region in 2016 by the Living Wage Foundation.

Penrose Care’s ethical approach promotes higher quality social care workers and low staff turnover which in turn results in excellent care. Penrose Care is headquartered in Belsize Village, north London and was founded by Robert Stephenson-Padron, a healthcare research analyst, and Dr. Matthew Knight, a hospital physician.

2016-10-31 (Penrose Care) Living Wage celebration

The modern Living Wage movement provides hope in a cynical age

By Robert Stephenson-Padron

At his 2016 Templeton Prize address, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks warned against dangers simmering in Western societies from the outsourcing of moral responsibility. Lord Rabbi Sacks said:

“Wherever we look, politically, religiously, economically, environmentally, there is insecurity and instability. It is not too much to say that the future of the West and the unique form of freedom it has pioneered for the past four centuries is altogether at risk.” (1)

Indeed, there is an air of cynicism in the West today. I can feel it. I expect you can feel it as well. Fortunately, as in other periods of human history, there is a glimmer of hope that rejects this cynicism: the modern Living Wage movement born out of East London in 2001 by Citizens UK.

2016-05-26 (Penrose Care) Jonathan Sacks and Robert Stephenson-Padron

Penrose Care managing director Robert Stephenson-Padron with Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks after he received the 2016 Templeton Prize on May 26, 2016.

The cynicism of the age is fuelled by masking the costs of society’s economic progress

It’s important to first look at the personal attraction to outsourcing moral responsibility since much of the pathologies that appear in society as a whole or in our workplaces specifically start within each one of us. Tribalism and nativism stem from a universal vice – that of a tendency to reject the dignity of “other” human beings out of selfishness. This tendency is amplified with feelings of insecurity.

If you harm an innocent person however, the goodness within you also has a say – you are likely to feel bad about it afterwards. It appears as guilt and that type of stress that keeps you from sleeping well at night. It nags at you, it tells you, “maybe you’re doing wrong.” “Maybe you shouldn’t be doing this.”

We humans don’t like feeling guilty, but we are also aghast to the idea of anyone telling us what to do – and that goes for our inner conscience. Therefore, by dissociating certain human beings from their innate dignity, by reducing them to some category of otherness, we move to a system whereby we may violate the dignity of human beings while minimising our guilt in our progress towards whatever lofty goal we may have: say purely maximising profits or minimising costs without reference to any value system.

With guilt restrained, human selfishness metastasises into an epidemic of exploitation. Polish philosopher Leszek Kolakowski believed that “sensitivity to evil” is indeed “the only system of reference that allows us to contemplate [the] price [paid for ‘progress’] and forces us to ask whether it is exorbitant.” (2) To violate the dignity of another person is evil and by blurring our associated guilt behind different man-made curtains, we lose our sense of evil.

In the UK, we see the results of minimising costs without reference to human dignity starkly demonstrated in the ailing home care sector – where years of Local Councils tendering out home care services for the elderly and disabled persons to the lowest bidders without reference to minimum legal labour standards resulted in a sector of contract winners that widely pay their care workers below the minimum wage, rush them from 15 minute home visit to 15 minute home visit, and call them in and out of work like machines in a warehouse. With home care workers working behind the curtains of these contract holders, Local Councils turned a blind eye to years of labour exploitation.

The case of the UK home care sector has also shown that maximising profits or minimising costs without reference to human dignity is not sustainable. As Herbert Stein’s Law counsels us, “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.”

In the years following the British tax office’s justified step-up of enforcement of the National Minimum Wage in 2014, three of the UK’s top five operators in the home care sector exited the market. In January 2018, home care workers in Birmingham went on strike over continued austerity of the city’s social care budget which has put enormous strain on the city’s shrunken home care workforce. Events like this, akin to the Memphis (USA) sanitation strikes of 1968 which halted trash collections, remind us that human beings can only be exploited so far. These sudden stops are harmful and they are the direct result of responsible parties outsourcing their responsibilities to others.

Paradoxically, these cases of labour exploitation are under the backdrop of GDP per head in the UK, a broad measure of wealth, being the highest it has ever been in history. Unfortunately, rather than use our growing wealth to adequately address the “costs” associated with this growth, individual actors who are able to address them have widely let these costs spiral out of control into the dire situation we have today. (3) Former American diplomat Ivo Daalder well summarised the paradox of the West’s unprecedented economic growth in 2016:

“Within… global cities… a growing number of people have been left behind. And beyond these cities – out in other parts of the country – more people have lost out on the benefits produced by globalization and accelerating technological innovation. All too many people, in the past fifteen years, have seen their wages stagnate or even cut, their jobs lost, hopes dashed, and dreams deferred.” (4)

With hopes dashed and dreams deferred, we see a rise in people in the West adhering to movements which offer false dreams, which Rabbi Lord Sacks identifies as: “the far right, the far left, religious extremism and aggressive secularism.” (1)

Should we not be surprised that this culture of moral irresponsibility that poisons societies as a whole also poisons workplaces?

Indeed, former PR executive Robert Phillips notes that, “In any organisation, 80% of the workforce is dis-enfranchised and doesn’t care. 25% of the 80% would actively sabotage the organisation for which they work.” (5) If you’re a business leader of an organisation with employee disenchantment to that degree, do you think your organisation is sustainable? I think not.

2018-02-06 (Penrose Care) In the news

In contrast to many of its peers, Penrose Care has been a champion of ethical home care, which it has promoted through various channels, including the national British media.

The real Living Wage accreditation process unmasks hidden exploitation

When I first entered the corporate workforce in 2007, I discovered that the kind security staff, the indispensable cafeteria workers, and phenomenal cleaners I encountered in my workplace all worked for other firms although we all worked under the same “umbrella firm”. I thought at the time, that’s odd. I later learned that this was a common system of outsourcing whereby companies contract out essential internal corporate services, often to the lowest bidder.

If a decision-maker can seemingly outsource the moral responsibility of say, the exploitation of workers on their premises to boost the bottom line, then why not? What if your cleaners and security staff can only get by with third-party assistance, such as in-work benefits; or have to work a second job which means they seldom see their families? Behind the curtain of the contract holders, you may think these are the contract winners’ problems, or more likely, you just may be wholly unaware of the working conditions of these outsourced staff.

As the common reasoning goes: as the manager of the “umbrella firm”, I am responsible for my “employees”. Whereas, what happens to the others – the contractors – that is not my business and you think, not my responsibility. The actual accreditation process of being a real Living Wage Employer however recognises that IT IS your responsibility.

The Living Wage Foundation requires an Accredited Living Wage Employer to roll out the real living wage – £10.20/hour in London currently vs a minimum wage of £7.50/hour for those 25 of age and above – to certain outsourced staff such as cleaners, along with the organisation’s actual employees.

In this way becoming an Accredited Living Wage Employer does something very simple but also very powerful: it reminds you that moral responsibility for the labour standards of those serving your organisation, whether employed or contracted, rest with you. In a culture where the buck stops nowhere, the Living Wage movement reminds you that the buck stops with you.

 

2016-10-31 (Penrose Care) Olga Garcia and Robert Stephenson-Padron

Penrose Care senior care worker Olga Garcia and managing director Robert Stephenson-Padron after Penrose Care being named the London Living Wage Champion 2016 on October 31, 2016.

Celebrating the goodness of the Living Wage promotes the sustainability of those committed to it

By making the courageous moral choice to pay your workers – employed and outsourced – a wage they can live decently from, you are implicitly recognising that all of your colleagues have dignity as human beings. As with finite lives, human beings’ sweat and time is sacred, and thus must be duly respected with fair compensation in return. The young Winston Churchill eloquently recognised this truth in the last century, “It is a serious national evil that any class of His Majesty’s subjects should receive less than a living wage in return for their utmost exertions.” (6)

Realistically, making a moral choice where the cost are high is difficult, hence the need for courage. It means you as a leader need to build and maintain an organisation that is voluntarily taking on a higher cost base than your peers and yet must still be viable and sustainable. For organisations that are not naturally high value-added – such as social care, cleaning, non-luxury retail, and certain manufacturers – and so struggle to afford paying the real Living Wage need a higher quality product/service and associated brand to allow them to charge sufficiently to maintain viability and sustainability.

This is where the Living Wage Foundation, and its celebratory awards such as the Living Wage Champion program, are key. By helping to publicise the good moral choice of your organisation to pay your workers the real Living Wage, the awards help you convey the message of goodness to the public, which will hopefully raise your brand awareness in prospective customers, helping to sustain your Living Wage commitment.

This has been a key recipe for success for my organisation, Penrose Care, which was one of the UK’s first Accredited Living Wage Employers. This view was further confirmed to me in December 2017 when I posed the question to Lee Phillips, finance director of Living Wage-pet food manufacturer Roger Skinner Ltd, “how can a manufacturer in an OECD country maintain ethical labour practices when its cost base is already higher than its international peers?” He told me, “The right ethics, right morals, and you need a brand [to credibly signal this quality]; and look after your customers.”

2017-12-14 (Penrose Care) Robert Stephenson-Padron with Lee Phillips

Penrose Care managing director with Roger Skinner finance director Lee Phillips after discussing the importance of the Living Wage and ethical labour practices for business success on December 14, 2017.

It must be highlighted that being a real Living Wage Employer means your product and service is higher quality. Since neuroscience tells us that good actions tend to release the “feel-good hormone” oxytocin, by adding an ethical component to the purchase of your goods and services for your customers, you have ipso facto boosted the quality of your offering. (7) It should therefore be no surprise that research has indicated that consumers are willing to pay a premium price for goods and services from Accredited Living Wage Employers. (8)

The intrinsic morality of the Living Wage movement stands in contrast to unbridled self-interests

By working as partners with employers, the Living Wage movement builds up workplaces that adhere to moral responsibility, that promote togetherness, that have a common vision that all of us have innate dignity.

Do not underestimate the impact your decisions in the workplace can have on wider society. The great American labour leader Lane Kirkland once said, “history moves when civil society reaches a critical point. It is not decided in the foreign ministries or in the palaces of power but on the streets and in the work places.” (9) By doing a moral good in the workplace, you set a good example for your colleagues to also do good and by boosting their financial security, you reduce the fuel to some of the more macro-level evils we see in the world today. In a cynical world, the Living Wage employer stands as a visible sign that humans can be good. And together, we in the Living Wage movement will continue to make history, tilting it towards goodness and justice, remembering that “It is not hope that gives rise to action so much as action that gives rise to hope.” (10)

Robert Stephenson-Padron is the managing director of home care provider Penrose Care, the winner of the Living Wage Champion award in 2016 for the London region. Penrose Care has been an Accredited Living Wage Employer since 2012.

The foregoing article is the full version of a shorter article written for the web page of the Living Wage Foundation.

2016-10-31 (Penrose Care) Living Wage Champion award

The Living Wage Champion 2016 trophy of Penrose Care.

***

(1) Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, “The Dangers of Outsourcing Morality” (www.rabbisacks.org: 27 May 2016), available online here.

(2) Nathan Gardels, “Man does not live by reason alone”, interview with Leszek Kolakowski from 1991 (New Perspectives Quarterly: Fall 2009/Winter 2010), available online here.

(3) Angel Gurría, “Launch of ‘In It Together – Why Less Inequality Benefits All’” (OECD: 21 May 2015), available online here.

(4) Ambassador Ivo Daalder, “The New Demagoguery”, address at the University of Kent (Chicago Council: 13 July 2016), available online here.

(5) Robert Phillips, “Post Truth, Post Trust, Post PR: The crisis of trust is a crisis of leadership”, address at Erasmus University (Jericho Chambers: 20 October 2016), available online.

(6) Donald Hirsch, “How the old idea of the living wage has been embraced by the political establishment” (The Conversation: 6 June 2017), available online here.

(7) Priya Advani, “How Random Acts of Kindness Can Benefit Your Health” (Huffington Post: 11 August 2013), available online here.

(8) Living Wage South Bank Report (South Bank BID: 4 October 2017), page 6, available online here.

(9) Arch Puddington, “How American Unions Helped Solidarity Win” (American Educator: Summer 2005), available online here.

(10) Matthew Taylor, “The idealism of realism” (RSA: 29 June 017), available online here.

Penrose Care Managing Director Robert Stephenson-Padron and senior care worker Nikoletta Makouli following Penrose Care being named the Most Outstanding Home Care Provider in the World.

International recognition for Penrose Care’s ethical labour practices

Belsize Village, London, UK: Penrose Care was honoured Thursday night, November 9, 2017 to receive international recognition for its pioneering work in integrating ethical labour practices into home care at the 2017 Global Over 50s Housing Awards. Penrose Care was recognised as the “The Most Outstanding Homecare Provider in the World.”

Penrose Care Managing Director Robert Stephenson-Padron and senior care worker Nikoletta Makouli following Penrose Care being named the Most Outstanding Home Care Provider in the World.

Penrose Care Managing Director Robert Stephenson-Padron and senior care worker Nikoletta Makouli following Penrose Care being named the Most Outstanding Home Care Provider in the World.

Social care labour practices tend to be poor both in the UK and abroad and Penrose Care has over the years received research delegations from Canada and Japan to learn about Penrose Care’s ethical labour practices, how Penrose Care makes them possible financially, and how it leads to better social care outcomes. Penrose Care has been involved in various labour and social care reports and studies including from the University of Strathclyde (Scotland), Itami City Council (Japan), the Equality & Human Rights Commission (UK) and most recently, The New Policy Institute.

Penrose Care’s ethical workplace practices include paying the London Living Wage, a voluntary wage rate set by the Mayor of London once a year which is meant to be the lowest a person can be paid to still live a decently quality of life in London (currently £10.20/hour vs the mandatory National Living Wage of £7.50/hour); an Occupational Sickpay Scheme that allows workers to receive full pay for up to 10 days a year so workers do not feel compelled to work go to work when sick – supporting public health; free taxis home for workers going home late at night to help ensure their safety and give them that extra boost of relaxation; and a variety of other labour initiatives.

Long-time international labour specialist, Jerald Zellhoefer, a former American social worker and European Representative of the AFL-CIO based in Paris, France and member of the International Labour Organisation from 1991-2010 noted upon learning of Penrose Care’s award, “Penrose Care is a strong supporter of Living Wage which in the social care sector in a country with an aging population is especially important.  Dignity for patients and care givers can never be secondary issues.”

Following receiving the award, Penrose Care managing director said, “The Penrose Care team is once again honoured and humbled to be recognised for our especially caring ethos, which covers both our staff and the vulnerable persons we support to live independently in their homes.”

Mr. Stephenosn-Padron continued: “Penrose Care’s core innovation is an adherence to a timeless truth – that the dignity of man and woman is superior to all other aims. With these guiding values, we have been able to attract and keep special individuals with a vocation to care. And by allowing them to pursue that vocation, we have been able to help the elderly and disabled persons we support live more fulfilling lives.”

Nikoletta Makouli, a senior care worker at Penrose Care who attended the awards ceremony in London at the Courthouse Hotel, said following the award: “We are not only a team because we work together, we are a team because we respect, trust and care about each other. Proud to be part of this company Penrose Care.”

Various other countries were represented at the awards ceremony including organisations from Australia, Canada, India, Italy, Mexico, Thailand and the USA.

With Penrose Care having a multi-year relationship with healthcare researchers from Japan, Penrose Care’s team was especially pleased to meet at the Global Awards ceremony Dr. Hanatsu Nagano who has invented a shoe insole that reduces trips and falls in the elderly.

With Penrose Care having a multi-year relationship with healthcare researchers from Japan, Penrose Care’s team was especially pleased to meet at the Global Awards ceremony Dr. Hanatsu Nagano who has invented a shoe insole that reduces trips and falls in the elderly.

ENDS

Media Contact

Penrose Care

Robert Stephenson-Padron

robert.padron@penrosecare.co.uk

0207 435 2644

About Penrose Care

Penrose Care is an ethical provider of home care services London, United Kingdom to adults with disabilities and elderly persons, including those with dementia.  The company operates upon a fundamental belief that to promote a caring workforce, the organisation itself must be caring. As the pioneer of ethics in home care in the UK, Penrose Care in 2012 became one of the first four providers in the country to become an Accredited Living Wage Employer and in 2013 the first independent sector provider to be compliant with Citizens UK’s landmark Social Care Charter. Penrose Care was named the Living Wage Champion for the London region in 2016 by the Living Wage Foundation.

Penrose Care’s ethical approach promotes higher quality social care workers and low staff turnover which in turn results in excellent care. Penrose Care is headquartered in Belsize Village, north London and was founded by Robert Stephenson-Padron, a healthcare research analyst, and Dr. Matthew Knight, a hospital physician.

About the Global Over 50s Housing Awards

The Global Over 50s Housing Awards (“Global Awards”) are now in their seventh year. They were created to celebrate and reward the best individual and company performances in Seniors Housing/Care Trends, Healthcare Innovation, IT, and Medical Tourism sectors worldwide. The Awards recognise the rapid growth of these sectors worldwide, and the capacity of individuals to influence and set new performance standards across countries, regions and the world. The Awards focus on elevated performance; the creation of new business models; contrarian thinking; recognising and embracing new trends; market leadership; inspirational performance and the elevation of customer experience.

Penrose Care managing director Robert Stephenson-Padron speaks at Camden Council about Brexit. Photo 5

Penrose Care head speaks out on Brexit at Camden Council

Belsize Village, London, UK: Yesterday on the night of October 23, 2017, Penrose Care’s managing director Robert Stephenson-Padron spoke to a meeting of Camden Council at Camden Town Hall on Judd Street about the impacts of Brexit on home care.

The extraordinary meeting which invited various speakers from across the Borough was organised by the Camden Council Brexit Working Group led by Cllr. Lazzaro Pietragnoli.

A copy of of Mr. Stephenson-Padron’s prepared remarks are beneath the contact information of this press release.

ENDS

Media Contact

Penrose Care

Robert Stephenson-Padron

robert.padron@penrosecare.co.uk

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About Penrose Care

Penrose Care is an ethical provider of home care services London, United Kingdom to adults with disabilities and elderly persons, including those with dementia.  The company operates upon a fundamental belief that to promote a caring workforce, the organisation itself must be caring. As the pioneer of ethics in home care in the UK, Penrose Care in 2012 became one of the first four providers in the country to become an Accredited Living Wage Employer and in 2013 the first independent sector provider to be compliant with Citizens UK’s landmark Social Care Charter. Penrose Care was named the Living Wage Champion for the London region in 2016 by the Living Wage Foundation.

Penrose Care’s ethical approach promotes higher quality social care workers and low staff turnover which in turn results in excellent care. Penrose Care is headquartered in Belsize Village, north London and was founded by Robert Stephenson-Padron, a healthcare research analyst, and Dr. Matthew Knight, a hospital physician.

Robert Stephenson-Padron’s prepared remarks for Camden Council’s extraordinary meeting on Brexit held on October 23, 2017:

Mr. Mayor and councillors, thank you for inviting me to speak to you tonight about the European Union and Brexit. I would like to say a special hello and thank you to Councillor Lazaro, who was actually the person who swore me in as a British citizen in 2014 in this chamber three years ago.

Indeed, I speak to you as an immigrant and on behalf of Penrose Care, an ethical home care provider based in Belsize Village which largely consist of immigrants. 80% of our staff are EU nationals.

As such, the rhetoric and uncertainty running up to and post last summer’s EU referendum has put undue stress on my colleagues and has presented Penrose Care and the entire social care sector with a variety of significant challenges which further imperil an already fragile sector.

Before I speak to those challenges I want to make clear the monumental importance the European Union has had on my life and indeed, the life of Penrose Care.

First, would I have moved here to the UK if it had not been a member of the EU in 2007. Probably not.

Further, if you asked me today, do I think we would have established Penrose Care in 2012 if the UK was not a member of the European Union? I would say, probably not, particularly since our first workers were all EU nationals.

And therefore along with looking at the specific impacts of Brexit on social care, the Council should consider the long-term impacts of Brexit on entrepreneurship, capital formation, and SME-led job creation.

Now looking at social care, as you know, it is important to recognise that it is a sector whose crises preceded the Brexit vote but have been worsened by the Brexit vote. These include:

1) A worsening in the social care recruitment crisis. The long-term recruitment crisis in social care shifted to a catastrophe after the Brexit vote, with EU nationals here less keen to move jobs and new EU nationals being deterred from moving here.[1]

2) And this has led to a worsening in the delayed transfer of care crisis. This has been the most catastrophic crisis worsened by the Brexit vote with English delayed transfers of care beds due to social care delays increasing by 38%[2] last winter year-on-year with patients being unable to secure social care amid a recruitment crisis worsened by Brexit.

3) The nursing shortage crisis. We have 24,000 nursing vacancies and nursing registrations from the EU have fallen by 96%.[3],[4] This worsens the quality of services district and community nursing can provide, negatively impacting our collaborations with them.

4) The social care financial crisis. One in four home care providers are at risk of insolvency according to BBC Panorama in March.[5] This crisis is exacerbated if care providers cannot maintain staffing levels and cannot grow if they cannot increase their staffing levels.

I would be happy to elaborate on these challenges to you in the Q&A but I would close by saying that of course the UK has every right to leave the EU. But I think none of us have the right to sit idly by while this reckless Brexit process inhibits our ability to support the most frail in our society in safe and dignified ways.

Thank you.

[1] “Social care system ‘beginning to collapse’ as 900 carers quit every day” (BBC News: 11 April 2017), available http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-39507859

[2] Delayed Transfers of Care Data 2017-18 (NHS England, 12 Oct 2017), available https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/delayed-transfers-of-care/delayed-transfers-of-care-data-2017-18/

[3] “NHS faces shortage of more than 40,000 nurses after Brexit, says leaked government prediction” (Independent: 7 April 2017), available http://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/nhs-nurse-shortage-40000-post-brexit-trusts-hospitals-uk-healthcare-leaked-government-a7671791.html

[4] “96% drop in EU nurses registering to work in Britain since Brexit vote” (The Guardian: 12 June 2017)

[5] “’Lack of money’ prompts care firms to end council contracts” (BBC News: 20 March 2017), available http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-39321579

Penrose Care managing director Robert Stephenson-Padron speaks at Camden Council about Brexit. Photo 3

Penrose Care managing director Robert Stephenson-Padron speaks at Camden Council about Brexit. Photo 3

Penrose Care managing director Robert Stephenson-Padron speaks at Camden Council about Brexit. Photo 4

Penrose Care managing director Robert Stephenson-Padron speaks at Camden Council about Brexit. Photo 4

Penrose Care managing director Robert Stephenson-Padron speaks at Camden Council about Brexit. Photo 5

Penrose Care managing director Robert Stephenson-Padron speaks at Camden Council about Brexit. Photo 5

Penrose Care managing director Robert Stephenson-Padron at Camden Council - praised by a colleague on Instagram.

Penrose Care managing director Robert Stephenson-Padron at Camden Council – praised by a colleague on Instagram.