Belsize Village, London, 04 November 2013:
This morning at the Living Wage Week 2013 launch at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, UK, Mayor of London Boris Johnson announced the new London Living Wage of £8.80/hour, a 25p increase from the previous London Living Wage of £8.55/hour. This compares to the National Minimum Wage for persons 21 years or older of £6.31/hour. The increase is effective immediately at Penrose Care, which in the Autumn of 2012, became one of the UK’s first Accredited Living Wage Employers in the home care sector. Today, Penrose Care is one of only four Accredited Living Wage Employers in London’s home care sector out of c 925 agencies.
“When many of our peers are paying less than even the National Minimum Wage, we at Penrose Care are proud to be one of a handful of home care providers in London paying the London Living Wage. A Living Wage for care workers means that those special individuals that have a vocation to care can pursue care as a profession – being able to live securely so that they in turn can help the elderly and disabled in our society feel secure,” said Penrose Care’s managing director, Robert Stephenson-Padron.
Recent survey data from Unison (pg 21) found that 81.1% of independent sector home care workers were not being paid for travel time between client homes. With public data (Oct 2013) suggesting the headline median wage for care workers in London is is £7.26/hour and data from the UK Home Care Association (page 8) suggesting average travel time for care workers in England is 19% of their work time, implies that a typical London home care worker may be earning an effective hourly wage of £5.88/hour, a violation of the National Minimum Wage. Positively, the HMRC has recently begun taking action against this unacceptable behaviour in England’s care sector.
In contrast, Penrose Care pays both the London Living Wage and pays for travel time, which are in part the reasons why on 15 Oct 2013, Penrose Care became the first independent sector home care provider in England (out of nearly 7,000 agencies) to be compliant with Citizens UK‘s landmark Social Care Charter, an ethical pathway for social care providers (care homes, nursing homes, home care agencies, and other community service providers).
“It is clear that the widespread poverty wages paid by many of our peers is a primary driver behind the negative outcomes in care that have become so public in British media in recent times – with many care workers lacking basic skills and high staff turnover hurting quality of care,” said Mr. Stephenson-Padron. “Penrose Care stands above the pack – to date all of our client feedback has been excellent and we have had zero voluntary leavers. Being ethical and paying the Living Wage matters in social care. Penrose Care is a testament to that fact.”
Penrose Care is proud of being a champion of dignity in care and ethics in social care and intends to continue working with the Living Wage Foundation and Citizens UK in promoting the Living Wage and the Social Care Charter, respectively.
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