Most social care workers unhappy with wage rates

Posted on April 26th, by geoff in Caring Times head, CT Extra. No Comments

Caring Times, May 2013

Employees working in social care are happier with their jobs than the average UK worker, according to new research by specialist recruiter Randstad Care.

65% of social care employees are happy with their job, compared to the national average of 61%.  And social care employees are also happier than their counterparts in healthcare, where just 57% are happy with their current role.

The most content employees in the UK are those working in utilities (96%).

The research also found that social care workers are amont the least happy in the UK with their current pay.  The survey of 2,000 UK adults found that just 37% of workers in social care and 35% of those in the healthcare sector describe themselves as happy with their pay.  This compares to a UK average of 43%.

Additional research undertaken as part of the Randstad Award of 7,000 UK adults reveals that competitive pay and benefits is back as the most important requirement of a new employer, while job security, the top factor for the past three years, has fallen to third place.  Ranstead says this reversal mirrors the improvement in the UK jobs market reported in the most recent government statistics.

Across all sectors of the UK, as the job market has improved, so too has workers’ confidence. In 2012, 27% of people said long-term job security was the most important factor in choosing to work for a specific company – more than any other issue.  But this has now fallen to 16%, the lowest it has been in three years.  Meanwhile, 18% of respondents said a competitive salary and employee benefits was the most important factor in picking an employer, compared to only 11% in 2012 and 12% in 2011.

Victoria Short, managing director of Randstad Care, said: 2012 was a tough year for the job market with confidence falling even further than in 2011.  That was reflected in people’s priorities – salary packages weren’t as important to potential employees as the financial health of a business.  Over the course of the last twelve months, that’s changed dramatically and the UK’s workforce appears much more bullish. In 2011 and 2012 the number one priority for people was job security – now it’s salaries and benefits.

“However, it’s clear that both social workers and nursing staff do not feel their pay matches up to their level of responsibility and workloads. While service providers are still feeling the pinch of funding cuts, they cannot afford to cut corners with attracting and retaining their staff and maintaining morale across the workforce. With skills shortages set to intensify as the UK’s restrictive migration policies take hold, we forecast there will be a shortfall of 61,200 nurses and 10,600 social workers by 2050. In this context, providers need to work harder to attract potential candidates to prevent a knock-on effect in the quality of service.

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