Last reviewed 23 November 2021

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) is calling for a £1000 winter bonus for care staff in England.

The association believes this would help to stem workforce pressures and that the measure would demonstrate that care work is valued, providing a recognition that has already been given to staff in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The call for the measure, which could cost £1.4 billion, came with a longer-term call for a minimum rate for staff in England that is above the national living wage and equivalent to that paid to NHS staff doing similar work.

The Government estimates that just short of 40,000 jobs are being lost in the care home sector from its introduction of mandatory Covid-19 vaccination for staff, and home care providers predict a significant loss of staff from the introduction of mandatory vaccination in domiciliary care from April next year.

ADASS President Stephen Chandler said: “Paying a £1,000 bonus to care workers over the winter would show that we prize their skills and dedication as a society. It would send a strong signal to people that care work is a career that is respected and is going to be properly rewarded in future. Unlike their counterparts in the rest of the UK, care workers in England have not been paid any government bonus for working through the pandemic.”

Care staff in Scotland and Northern Ireland have been paid a £500 bonus, and the bonuses of £500 and £735, in 2020 and 2021, for staff in Wales, all of which were related to working through the pandemic.

The minimum wage for staff providing direct care in Scotland is increasing to £10.02 an hour from next month compared with the current national living wage of £8.91, which will increase to £9.50 next April, and is what many staff in England are paid.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We appreciate the dedication and tireless work of social care staff throughout the pandemic. Care homes and home care providers are now benefiting from the new £162.5 million workforce retention and recruitment fund to assist local authorities and care providers in working together to ease workforce pressures in a variety of ways.

“The Government is investing at least £500 million in training to support the care workforce as part of the £5.4 billion to reform social care.”

The ADASS call is available here.