August 8, 2022

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Thousands of social care workers in Wales will get a £1,000 bonus this year in...

Thousands of social care workers in Wales will get a £1,000 bonus this year in an effort to retain staff amid dwindling workforce numbers.
The one-off payment will appear in pay packets in April.  
A total of 53,000 social care staff are eligible for the payment, mainly adult home carers, domiciliary workers and residential childcare workers.  
They will be paid £1,498 before tax, which will equate to £1,000 after deductions for most staff. 
There are currently no plans for similar schemes in other parts of the UK. MailOnline has contacted the Department of Health to see if that is still the case. 
The one-off payment is separate from the £500 for Welsh social care staff in 2020, and the £735 given last year to thank them for their pandemic efforts.
The funding boost comes as the real living wage is set to be introduced in the sector in April, bringing social workers pay up to £9.90 per hour.  

Deputy Social Services Minister Julie Morgan (left) meeting with Home Manager Debbie Richards, care assistant Craig Burrows and senior carer Emma Corten at Fields Care Home in Newport

Julie Morgan, Labour’s Welsh deputy minister for social services, said she hoped the bonus would help people during the cost-of-living crisis and encourage more workers to stay in the sector.
However, unions said the salary boost and bonus don’t go far enough to tackle ‘poor terms and conditions of those in the care sector in Wales’.  
And ancillary staff, such as caterers and cleaners, won’t be eligible for the bonus.  
Despite carers in Wales set to amass more than £2,000 in bonuses since the pandemic began, workers in England received between £60 and £155 per person before tax, through a £300million recruitment and reward fund unveiled last year by England’s Health Secretary Sajid Javid. 
Meanwhile, those in Scotland and Northern Ireland were given £500 each, before tax, national insurance and student loans. 

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Care workers in Wales will be given £1,498 through their pay between April and June, the Government announced today. 
After tax and national insurance deductions, staff can expect to receive £1,000 each. 
Nearly 53,000 staff will receive the payment, including 25,000 domiciliary care workers and 15,000 adult care home workers.
The bonus is on top of £500 already paid out to carers after the first Covid wave in 2020 and £735 dished out in 2021.

Some 25,000 domiciliary care workers will get the bonus, along with 15,565 adult care home workers, 6,370 personal assistants and 3,385 residential child care workers.
Additionally, 1,009 domiciliary care managers will get £1,000, along with 312 residential child care managers.
It is due to be added to pay between April and June. 
The Welsh Government is also funding a recruitment campaign and trying to improve progression opportunities for carers. 
Ms Morgan said: ‘I’ve seen first-hand the difference social care workers make to people’s everyday lives and I know just how valued they are.
‘We want to see more people take up permanent jobs in social care and start a rewarding career. 
‘We also hope those who are considering leaving social care, or who have already left, will stay.’
But Mark Turner, care lead at Unison Cymru Wales said the Government needs to ‘address the poor terms and conditions of those in the care sector in Wales’. 
And Rhun ap Iorwerth, Plaid Cymru deputy leader and spokesperson for health and social care, said too many carers had already left the profession for higher wages elsewhere.
He said: ‘Until those working in caring are rewarded and recognised as they deserve, and that they have the autonomy and funding to provide the high-quality care services they can be proud of, quick-fix payments like this will have little more effect in the long term than putting a sticking plaster on a deep wound.’ 
Labour and Plaid Cymru announced plans for a publicly delivered National Care Service as part of their co-operation agreement signed last year. 
The pact said an expert group would be assigned to investigate the implementation of such a service, which would be free at the point of need, with an aim to have a plan by the end of 2023.

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