Do care home workers deserve a higher cost of living allowance?

Do care home workers deserve a higher cost of living allowance?

It’s no secret that people in the United Kingdom are suffering right now under the weight of the current economic crisis. But as so many recent news stories have reported, workers in our care homes are in one of the most vulnerable positions of any worker in our country today. The cost of living has risen so steeply that workers simply cannot make ends meet on their current income, and there have been several well-publicized instances where care home workers have been forced to go without food and other essential items just to keep their jobs because they can’t afford anything else.

 

The current state of care homes in the UK
Care homes have been going through a changing process over the past few decades. As more people need to take care of their loved ones, they are moving into residential care homes which cater to their needs. These homes are expensive and can cost up to £500 per week for one person. The UK government offers a cost-of-living payment for everyone that is less than £150 per week, but this is not enough for those who live in residential care homes and require extra help with personal hygiene and finances. It is difficult for these residents when they need to take out loans or sell their property to pay for their stay as the cost continues to increase.

 

The average salary of a care home worker
The average annual salary for a care home worker is $20,000. This is not enough to cover the cost of living in most major cities. The cost of rent in New York City, the highest rent city, is $3,359 per month for a one bedroom apartment. The average car insurance rates are about $1,500-$2,000 per year and utilities can be around $150-200 per month. It’s hard for people who work in these jobs to live comfortably on their salaries.

 

The cost of living in the UK
The situation for these workers has become so dire that a law suit was launched against an employer by 500 employees who were on minimum wage (or just above) and were paid no cost of living support, despite being required to live away from their families for months at a time.

 

Even if these employees weren’t required to live away from their families, and even if they were able to earn more in London, they would still struggle. The current cost of living in London is so expensive that even with above average salaries people find it impossible to make ends meet. One report found that 40% of local households in London needed help from others just to get by. And when you’re trying to save for your own family, any help you can get is greatly appreciated.
Moreover, according to a Cost of Living Survey published by Expatistan earlier this year, London has become one of the most expensive cities in which people live – particularly when it comes to travel and health costs and basic household items such as furniture, food and clothing.

 

The case for a higher cost of living allowance for care home workers
Care home workers don’t earn very much, and they often have to work long hours. When you add in the high cost of living, it’s no wonder that many of them are struggling. These hard-working people deserve better than what they’re getting. This is why we’re calling on the government to increase the cost of living payment for everyone, including care home staff.

 

The opposing view
Care home workers perform an essential service for society, so it’s not surprising that there’s been discussion about how to improve their salary. Current discussions have suggested that the government should provide them with cost-of-living payments for everyone or just those who live in low-income areas. However, these discussions should take place with care professionals, as they will be the ones making decisions about their cost of living allowances. Some may feel that it’s unfair to pay one group more than another when they are providing the same service and they may view it as discrimination. It would also be difficult to determine which individuals receive this benefit and which do not because there isn’t an easy way to measure income levels in different locations.

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