Leading North West care provider, Alternative Futures Group (AFG) has called on local authorities for fair care pay rates following research from its recent employee survey that found that nearly three out of four employees (72%) run out of money regularly before pay day.

Other key findings included:

  • 53% needing to borrow money or use credit cards to cover essential living expenses such as food and bills
  • 65% are concerned about their financial position
  • 61% are working overtime to top up their salary
  • 51% are unable to pay all their bills on time
  • 47% (nearly half) say that they will need to leave their role to secure better pay

AFG, a not-for-profit care provider, is already subsidising rates of pay for employees from its reserves, with local authorities being called on to pay a rate that allows AFG to consistently pass on the Real Living Wage, year after year. To make this position sustainable AFG is currently appealing to all local authorities to provide increased rates for 2023 and beyond.

Ian Pritchard, Chief Executive of AFG comments, “It’s shocking and saddening to read the results from our recent survey. What many fail to realise is that although care providers like AFG are trying to pay real living wage and better than national minimum wage to all its employees, many of the local authority rates for their services are well below these rates. We invested £2.4m from our reserves this financial year in our employees’ salaries to top up the rates we are receiving from local authorities. We call on both Central Government, Local Authorities and Commissioners to stand up and do the right thing by paying carers fairly and acknowledge the amazing work they undertake in looking after those they support.”

AFG’s appeal supports the recent Community Integrated Care (CIC)’s Unfair to Care campaign that launched in Dec 2022 to raise awareness of research that stated that care workers earn on average 42% less than their NHS peers (Band 3 Healthcare Assistants), and called for parity across the sectors.

AFG’s brilliant carers deserve so much more for the amazing things they do every day.