Richmond carers could be rewarded for their hard work as proposals to increase their hourly wage go before the council, but opposition Lib Dems slam the ‘much delayed’ discussion.
Home care workers in the borough could get a 15% pay rise if the plans to raise their hourly wage to £14.85 are approved by the council cabinet.
If the proposals are rubber-stamped frontline staff will earn an extra £2.00 an hour, meaning a further £700,000 investment from the council.
Richmond Council highlighted that in the last year care staff are not always available when they are needed and remain under great pressure to deliver the essential care required by vulnerable people.
Following a joint review with service providers, it was decided that additional funding was required to encourage people to work in the borough and reward people appropriately for what they do.
Conservative Councillor David Marlow, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Adult Services and Health, said: “One of my main priorities is to enable all residents to be able to stay independent in their own home for as long as possible.
“Home care staff are fundamental to this – providing vital help and support to vulnerable residents.
“I would firstly like to praise the home care staff we have working in the borough for their commitment and dedication to duty. We know that despite the problems we have identified, our services remain very good.
“Last month we saw this with 150 people nominated for our Dignity in Care awards. However, we know the service can improve even further.”
The Liberal Democrat Spokesperson on Health and Social Care, Councillor Piers Allen, welcomes the proposals but feels they have been delayed.
Councillor Allen said: “The Liberal Democrat Group on the Council welcome the announcement of this much delayed proposal from the Conservative administration.
“At the Full Council Meeting in July 2013, an opposition motion proposed that this council resolves that all of its social care contracts would specify that care workers employed in the Borough should be paid their entire working day and at no less than the London Living Wage was voted for by the Lib Dem Group.
“To our sadness, all the Conservative Councillors voted against the motion.
“It is to be greatly regretted that home care workers have had to wait a year for the Conservative Cabinet Member to make an alternative proposal: one can only wonder at what costs to the continuity and quality of care to residents this delay has led to.”