Tens of thousands of social care staff who will be eligible for the real living wage from April will receive an additional 1,000 net payment as the Welsh Government invests in the sector.
Deputy Minister Julie Morgan today announced a further investment of 96m to support staff, on top of the 43m to introduce the real living wage.
The additional payment, which will be made to some 53,000 people, comes amid the worst cost-of-living crisis in decades.
Deputy Minister Julie Morgan, who has previously worked in social care and has had weekly meetings with the sector throughout the pandemic, yesterday spent an afternoon meeting staff at The Fields Care Home in Newport.
She met staff members and spoke to residents who praised the invaluable work staff provide at the home.
The Deputy Minister said:
The introduction of the real living wage in social care is one of our key priorities and I'm pleased we have been able to do this in our first year of government.
At a time when we are facing a cost-of-living crisis, this additional payment to care workers receiving the real living wage shows our commitment to supporting people and encouraging more people to consider a rewarding job in care.
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.
The 96m investment for the additional payment is on top of the 43.2m announced in December to ensure social care workers receive the real living wage in 2022-23. Around 53,000 social care workers will be eligible for the additional payment.
The additional payment, which is aligned to the introduction of the real living wage, will be 1,498 before deductions for tax and national insurance. Care workers on basic rate of income tax can expect to receive 1,000 after deductions.
We expect the additional payment and the real living wage will be processed in people's pay from April to June, due to the complexity of the care sector and the large number of employers involved. The additional payment will be available as a single payment or monthly instalments.
The Welsh Government is also funding a national recruitment campaign and is taking steps to professionalise the sector and improve career progression opportunities.