Labour-run Westminster City Council has announced a pre-Christmas pay boost for homecare workers who look after some of the most vulnerable residents in the city. Starting in December, homecare workers with the Council’s five contracted agencies will see their hourly rate of pay improve by £1.50 (before tax), over and above their annual pay increase and the London Living Wage.
This investment, worth over £1m each year, aims to tackle inequalities in the care sector workforce, and support Westminster’s estimated 450 homecare workers during a period of higher prices and increased energy bills. The pay increase will also assist with the wider issue of retention and recruitment of homecare staff, which in turn should also improve service outcomes for residents. 44% of Westminster’s Home Care workers are local residents (a percentage we are keen to increase) so this step will help support local people during a cost-of-living crisis.
This pay boost announcement is part of the council’s Fairer Westminster commitment to ensure better working conditions for care workers and provides higher quality, more dignified care. It follows the signing of the Unison Ethical Care Charter, which highlights the value that the council places on staff who deliver care and those who receive it, and sets out the intention to better support both care workers and the people they look after.
Councillor Nafsika Butler-Thalassis, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Public Health and Voluntary Sector said:
“I want to note how grateful Westminster council is to our homecare workers who provide an incredibly important service to Westminster residents. Our homecare workers worked all through the pandemic and they are now working through the cost of living crisis. I am very happy that we can finally thank them with this increase in pay.
I am also hopeful that this increase in pay will make it easier to recruit and retain homecare workers locally, giving our residents greater stability in their caring arrangements.”
Councillor Adam Hug, Leader of Westminster City Council said:
“For years Westminster Labour has campaigned for fairer pay for homecare workers, who do essential work but often struggle to make ends meet. From opposition we pressured the Council into paying the London Living Wage but issues around travel time meant that in reality home care workers still weren’t being paid enough.
So I’m delighted that in power we are now taking these steps to make home care workers lives better. We believe this will encourage more local people to consider becoming homecare workers in Westminster.”