A SOCIAL care leader is calling for assurance that everybody working in the sector in Wales will receive a £1,000 bonus payment.
Mario Kreft, chairman of Care Forum Wales, said the extra cash for front line social care workers announced by the Welsh Government was welcome – but expressed concerns that that some ancillary staff – such as cooks, care support workers and cleaners – might miss out.
According to deputy health minister Julie Morgan, the initiative is costing £96 million, and the bonus will be aimed at some 53,000 people working in the sector.
It comes on top of the £43.2 million announced last December designed to ensure social care workers receive the Real Living Wage from April onwards.
But Care Forum Wales is concerned that this money may not reach frontline workers because it is being channelled via local authorities and health boards.
Mr Kreft said: “We certainly welcome the £1,000 as a first step recruiting and retaining social care workers at a time when we are facing the worst staffing crisis anybody in the sector can remember.
“There is a much bigger issue about how we value social care worker and how we commission social care to ensure that our wonderful workforce receive the rewards that they deserve.
“We have been having weekly meetings with the Deputy Minister and we are grateful to her for her inclusive approach in involving Care Forum Wales in her deliberations.
“In relation to the £1,000, there is a question mark about those people who have slogged their guts out during the Covid nightmare, through all the challenges, who may not be eligible.
“I am thinking of people who may have been dealing with infection control, catering, and cleaning staff because they have all played an absolutely key role in keeping people safe.”
He added that distribution of the funds should take the new guidance for the Real Living Wage into account for all 22 local authorities and seven health boards in Wales.