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The next UK General Election has been called for 4th July 2024!

View the Citizens UK Manifesto here.

You don't have to be a British citizen to vote! Check your eligibility and Register to vote by 18th June.

Institutions: Become a Voter Registration Champion.

Open letter from Council Leaders on Social Care

Dear Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer,

We are writing as a group of Local Authority leaders in England who are increasingly concerned about the future of staffing in social care. Lord Markham, a Minister in the Department for Health & Social Care, recently acknowledged that three quarters of Local Authority budgets are being spent on social care (1). But the vacancy rate for adult social care remains at 10%, with the rate of staff turnover almost double the average for other sectors (2) . We know that the demand for care will continue to rise with our ageing population, and we must ensure that we have the workforce which is needed to meet this challenge.

Research has found that higher pay significantly improves retention in social care (3). Care workers remain among the lowest paid workers in the UK – with 43% of adult social care staff in England earning below the real Living Wage (4). Care work is vital, demanding, skilled work, and people taking on this responsibility should earn more than the legal minimum. If we want to build a social care workforce which is fit for the demands of the future, we must ensure that staff earn enough to meet their everyday needs. While some Local Authorities have been able to ensure that care workers earn the real Living Wage, financial constraints mean that this is not possible for many. Councils’ ability to ensure care workers earn the real Living Wage will become increasingly challenging without greater support from Central Government.

We are calling on the next Government to ensure all social care workers are paid at least the real Living Wage for all hours worked, including in-work travel time and sleep-in shifts, by putting in place sufficient funding, delivery mechanisms and guidance for Local Authorities.

We would like to invite you to meet with Citizens UK, the Living Wage Foundation and a group of Local Authority leaders, to discuss how to ensure that care workers in England can earn the real Living Wage, as they already do in Scotland and Wales.

As a care worker and community leader from Citizens UK said: “There is much to love about the work itself, such that if basic employment conditions were to improve, many more individuals could be attracted into the sector.”

Let’s work together to build a social care workforce which is fit for the future.


Council leaders from Councils with care responsibilities:

  1. Councillor Barry Lewis (Sutton Council)
  2. Councillor Phil Jordan (Isle of Wight Council)
  3. Dame Norma Redfearn DBE – (Mayor of North Tyneside)
  4. Liam Robinson – (Liverpool City Council)
  5. Lynn Williams – (Blackpool Council)
  6. Shantanu Rajawat (Hounslow Council)
  7. Barry Rawlings (Barnet Council)
  8. Kaya Comer-Schwartz (Islington Council)
  9. Mike Bell (North Somerset Council)
  10. Nick Ireland (Dorset Council)
  11. Andreas Kirsch (Richmond Council)
  12. Kevin Guy (Bath and North East Somerset Council)
  13. Simon Hogg (Wandsworth Council)
  14. Lutfur Rahman (Mayor of Tower Hamlets)

Council leader from Councils without care responsibilities:

15. Councillor Matthew Brown (Preston City Council)

Cabinet member for Social care from Councils with care responsibilities:

16. Christopher Kennedy – (Hackney Council Cabinet member for Adult Social Care).

17. Maureen Worby – (Barking and Dagenham Council Cabinet member for Health and Social Care)

Sign the petition

Hundreds of thousands of social care workers across England are struggling to make ends meet. It was never enough just to clap. All care workers should earn at least the real Living Wage.

Show your support for carers by signing the petition, and help us persuade the next Government to introduce the real Living Wage for social care workers.

Supporting social care workers is one of the most important issues ahead of the General Election and beyond. Find out more about the campaign and get involved.

Posted by Sylvie Pope on 9 Jun, 2024