Care sector workers in North Yorkshire are set to receive a bonus of around £320
Care sector Workers in North Yorkshire are to receive a bonus of around £320 as a thank you for their commitment during the pandemic.
The money is coming from an NHS grant and the county council and will be distributed to both council and private sector care workers.
Richard Webb is the County Council's Director of Health and Adult Services
County Councillor Gareth Dadd says the "thank you" bonus for the county's 16,000 care workers is a small step in the right direction.
The move comes at a time of continuing fierce competition for the care sector in the labour market, with the hospitality, retail, heavy goods transport and construction industries all reporting staff shortages.
As a result, on any given day there are at least 1,000 care sector jobs available across the county. In the autumn, the council launched its biggest ever recruitment drive in response to plummeting numbers applying for social care jobs, while care providers in the county have been offering extra financial incentives to staff to take on the roles, from a £1,500 golden handshakes to carers being offered £2,000 for referring three friends.
An officers’ report to the executive states:
“During 2021 it has become clear that workforce issues, specifically difficulty in recruiting and retaining front line care workers are becoming a significant issue not only for social care but also having a knock-on effect for the NHS, both in terms of the continuing health care services which it funds and in relation to availability of care to enable safe and timely hospital discharge.”
Councillor Michael Harrison, the authority’s adult services and health executive member, said while their were a host of good career opportunities in the care sector, earning the minimum wage in the care sector required a relatively high commitment from workers compared to other minimum wage jobs.
“This is effectively a bonus, a small recognition of the effort that those workers are making, but it’s not going to fix the long-term structural issues in the sector.
“It does reflect a wider realisation from central government that more needs to be done to improve the pay for the sector and particularly the people at the bottom of the pay scale. It’s a welcome start to the year, but more needs to be done to reflect the value of what those people do in their pay packet.
“We hope central government will realise they need to divert money from their new National Insurance tax that they will be raising so that it doesn’t just focus on the NHS. People are recognising that social care is an integral part of that health system.”