Funding the Scottish Living Wage in social care

As part of the local government settlement for 2016-17 the Scottish Government included a requirement to ensure that ‘all social care workers, including in the independent and third sectors are paid £8.25 an hour’. This was the then Scottish Living Wage (SLW)

  • In 16-17  A resource of £125M was provided to support ‘the living wage and other cost pressures’.
  • In 17-18 a  further £107M was identified.
  • In 18-19 a resource of £30M was identified within the Scottish budget for the SLW with a futher £10M identified for the sleepover hours uplift.

Good intentions, flawed implementation

Although CCPS wholeheartedly supports the payment of at least the Scottish Living Wage in social care this commitment has proven difficult to make a reality and has led to some unintended, and unwanted, consequences. Recent research by the University of Strathclyde sets  this out in more detail.

Core challenges

  • Multi- area providers as they need settlements from every area before they can implement the living wage across the workforce
  • Affordability– where hourly rates are not sufficient to meet the Scottish Living Wage and other cost components of delivering care and support providers simply cannot implement this initiative and this will lead to (a) contract and market exit or (b) reduced service provision.
  • Timescale- implementation of this scale of change requires quick turnaround of contract paperwork and decision-making within contracting authorities.
  • Approach- contracting authorities are taking a range of approaches to implementation. Some are failing to work with providers on this or ensure that hourly rates are sufficient.

Representing providers

We represent providers on the Scottish Goverment National Partners Group and gather and intelligence on how implementation is working on the ground.  We are involved in co-producing the 18-19 implementation guidance as well as work on overnight support redesign.

Living wage tools and resources

image (C)istockphoto.com/Gregory_lee