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16th September 2015

The national living wage: not all doom and gloom for the care sector

The national living wage: not all doom and gloom for the care sector

If you’ve been following the headlines, you will know that a lot of people in the care sector are worried about the impact of the introduction of the National Living Wage.  But at Terrablu, we already pay above the NLW because we know that finding the right staff is crucial to delivering the best care for our clients.

In a letter to the Chancellor in August, the five biggest care home providers said the introduction of the National Living Wage could result in a ‘catastrophic collapse’ in the number of care homes.  The National Living Wage will require bosses to pay staff aged 25 and over £7.20 an hour from next April, rising to £9 an hour by 2020.   Four Seasons Health Care, Bupa, HC-One, Care UK and Barchester said the measure would cost the care sector £1 billion by 2020.

Terrablu is not a national player like these five well-known names.  We restrict our excellent home care for the elderly and those with dementia to the Sevenoaks, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells areas.  But while we may not be as big as them, we are ambitious in the care that we provide for our clients.  So we already pay above the rates being introduced under the National Living Wage, as it is central to our policy of attracting the very best staff to deliver the very best care for our clients.

That doesn’t mean it won’t have an impact on us.  When everyone pays what we currently pay, we will have to pay even more to continue to attract and retain the best.  But social care is about much more than the pay cheque: it’s a vocational choice, offering flexible hours and rewarding – but sometimes demanding – relationships.  Staff who are only motivated by the salary aren’t going to deliver the standard of care that we pride ourselves in.  Our biggest challenge has never been paying a decent rate: it’s finding people who really want to make a difference, who are genuinely passionate about a career in care, not opting to do it because they can’t find anything else.

The National Living Wage will present a challenge for all of us, as we adapt to paying for good care for ourselves to supplement the care we get free on the NHS.  But we know that at Terrablu we are well positioned to take the challenge in our stride – and hope it may encourage more people to think of care as a career, so we can recruit even more truly motivated staff.

To find out more about a career in care with Terrablu,

call 01892 529429 or request a callback.