Why is recruiting staff into the care sector so difficult?
As a provider of care to older people in a London borough which has the highest age profile of any London borough the need to recruit good quality care staff is always a pressing concern.
So why is it so difficult to attract care staff?
Perception – providing to care to those in need should be one of society’s most valued roles and yet we seem to take it for granted that someone will be there to care for us in our time of need
Unwillingness to pay – many older people grew up in the Cradle to Grave period. As long as you paid in your stamp then the State would take care of you
Bad practices – the care industry has been shamed by its repeated breaching of the National Minimum Wage through not paying travel time and travel expenses
Zero hours contracts – the care industry has used zero hours contracts as a de facto way of managing staff. Whilst such contracts can have a place in the workplace the overuse of them has not helped its image.
What can we do?
For a start we need to pay our staff decent rates of pay above National Minimum Wage and to pay travel time and travel expenses. Care staff should receive a pension and holiday entitlement the same as other staff. Training should be provided. Care staff should not have to pay for their own DBS check. And care staff should be offered Guaranteed Hours contracts.
But we also need to educate potential customers that this is a skilled job. If you want someone to look after you or your loved one when they need care then you should understand and plan financially for this eventuality. Recent research by the University of Newcastle shows that on average a woman will need care for three years of her life. Someone needs to pay for this and in a period of declining state funding the only alternative is understanding that you are going to have to pay for your own care and to get the quality of care you need is going to require you pay a suitable amount.
What is Tapestry doing?
We offer our care staff:
- Competitive rates of pay
- Generous 6% pension
- Guaranteed 16 hours
- Holiday entitlement
- Travel time and expenses paid
- Minimum 60 minutes visits
- Free training and free DBS
We also provide access to an Independent Financial Advisor through Tapestry Financial Services so that people have someone to discuss matters such as paying for their care and planning for retirement.
As a society, we need people to provide care to others. Isn’t it about time society started valuing those who provide this care?