Social care staff are to receive an immediate 3.3% pay increase backdated from 01 April.
The move, agreed between the SNP Government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), means staff will not need to wait for the pay to be backdated at a point later in the year following negotiations, as has happened in previous years.
It is part of a package of measures to support social care workers in recognition of the vital role they are playing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Social care support workers providing direct adult support will have their pay increased to at least the Real Living Wage rate of £9.30 an hour for all hours worked, including sleep-overs and hours worked by personal assistants.
The SNP Government will also provide funding to third sector and independent providers specifically to ensure staff receive sick pay if they are off work ill or because they are self-isolating.
In addition, the agreed funding increase to these providers will give them the financial flexibility to increase wages across their organisations, and not just to frontline staff.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman MSP said:
“Scotland’s dedicated social care workers are on the frontline of our national pandemic response. Their work is always hugely valued, and never more so than now.
“The measures announced in partnership with COSLA will ensure all people providing adult social care receive the Real Living Wage for every hour worked with immediate effect, rather than having to wait until later in the year.
“As well as providing an uplift in pay for all social care workers, this package ensures social care providers have both flexibility to increase wages across their organisations and the necessary funding for sick pay if their employees are off ill or are self-isolating.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP commented:
“Since October 2016, the SNP Government has provided increased funding to enable adult social care workers to be paid the Real Living Wage for waking hours, rising from £6.60 an hour.
“During 2018/19, this commitment was extended to include those undertaking overnight social care support. This covers adult social care workers providing direct care and support to adults in care homes, care at home, day care and housing support.
“The SNP Government recognises the vital contribution of Scotland’s social care workforce and bringing the 3.3% payrise forward reflects the key worker status of social care support staff and confirms support for those off sick or self-isolating.”
Andy Kerr, Chair of the Fair Work in Social Care Group, said:
“This announcement will provide social care providers the confidence, in these very challenging times, to ensure a very welcome and deserved pay uplift for social care staff working in Scotland.
“As well as recognising the importance of their work, this announcement also gives reassurance that financial support is available for those who are sick or self-isolating during this unprecedented situation.
“It also reflects the work we are doing as part of the overall reform of adult social care to build a framework for fair work across the sector.”