One of the largest care firms in the South East has stung its clients to pay for a staff wage increase.
The wage increase though comes in place of a removed bonus.
SCC Agency Ltd, which trades under the name South Coast Care and has recently failed a Care Quality Commission inspection had been giving its staff a 50p bonus on top of each hour worked at the end of each month but only for hours worked between Monday’s and Friday’s and dependent entirely on if a member of staff had any sick days.
South Coast Care though has moved to stop the end of month bonus and replace it with a 50p an hour wage increment in an effort to comply with the Conservatives new minimum wage laws but to pay for this wage increment they have attacked the most vulnerable by increasing their charges to the clients.
South Coast Care is to increase its charges to clients, private and through Social Services, by 50p and hour. The exact same amount the staff wages are to be increased.
The clients will pay the 50p an hour extra every day of the week but it’s staff will only see their wages increase by 50p an hour Monday to Friday, the same as when it was called a bonus.
At a time when the most vulnerable in society are being hit by government cuts to benefits and government departments are also being hit by cuts which will be impacted again by these increases it strikes a raw note and will only have a negative affect on clients that already struggle to pay their care costs or on departments that are already facing restricted budgets.
The move appears to almost exclusively be in an effort to comply with the new wage legislation and is perhaps further proof that whilst the Tories are trying to increase wages, unscrupulous companies will only pass these increases on to the public, many of whom are already struggling.
Workers in the care industry will testify to the working conditions in some care companies from high staff turnover, to low wages, to zero hours contracts or irregular working hours. With this move by South Coast Care it will likely take away incentive for workers to work harder which is what the Conservatives recently talked about at their Conference and it will mean that they have to face clients that will feel the pinch even more.