Branch Secretary :

Housing Associations: staff shortages threaten ‘critical care'

Just 36% of core staff available


A survey of the G15 group of large London based housing associations warns that supported living and care services warns that services are threatened Inside Housing reports today. Low pay leading to lack of recruitment is the root problem.


Unite members in the sector have been warning that pay has become unsustainably low and in many cases are submitting pay claims of 10%. With inflation at 8.2% this is not an unreasonable figure.


In the period covered by the survey, December 2021 to January 2022, just 69% of core staff were available for the delivery of care services.


Leaving to take up better paid roles


“Like other providers in the care sector, we’re finding it difficult to recruit and retain staff; experienced staff are sometimes leaving the sector entirely to take up better paid roles in retail or logistics” according to One Housing Group CEO quoted by Inside Housing.


Asked what the main challenge is in recruiting care workers, pay and conditions was the most popular answer among responders, followed by a lack of qualified staff.


Mr Hill calls for “a fair and standardised wage and benefits package for everyone providing professional care and sufficient long-term funding from government to deliver it… Without action, the charities, businesses and social enterprises running London’s CQC-registered care services risk not being able to deliver critical services. It is the specialist support we provide that prevents our NHS partners from being overwhelmed. We cannot sit back and watch these vital services fail through lack of staff.”


Sector standards


Unite has warned that low pay has been driving a deepening crisis in the sector for a number of years. We have called on employers to come together with Unite to agree sector standards to halt the competitive race to the bottom of recent years. Employers have irresponsibly raced to squeeze pay and conditions rather than engage to protect service standards, training and guarantee a decent standard of living for staff. We would urge employers in the sector to meet with us to discuss sector standards now.


Unite will support members in the sector fighting defend their standard of living, including supporting industrial action members decide to take.


If you are not a member of Unite, join us today here.


6 April 2022


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