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Why the Budget still didn't deliver on pay for the independent sector

 Brian Morton 24 Nov 2017

Brian Morton, RCN National Officer, responds to the new statutory living wage rates announced in the 2017 Budget.


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In the 2017 budget, Phillip Hammond announced new minimum pay rates. The Government confirmed that the ‘National Living Wage’ will rise 4.4%, from £7.50 an hour to £7.83. The new rates will apply from 1 April 2018. 

Whilst any increase in pay is welcome, it’s still not enough. The statutory minimum wage rates are still not the same as the real Living Wage and is only applicable as a legal minimum wage for those aged 25 and older.

The real Living Wage rates are independently-calculated each year based on what people need to get by. It’s higher in London where the cost of living is greater. The new real Living Wage rates were announced last month during Living Wage week and is now £8.75 per hour and the London Living Wage rate is £10.20.  

The new minimum rates are significantly lower than this, leaving people dependent on benefits and other forms of tax credit .  

Across the health and social care sector, thousands of health care support workers deliver vital care to their patients, residents and clients. Yet they are paid the legal minimum for doing so.  

Is this the value we as a society accept for vital care work? Is it right that care staff are paid only the legal minimum allowed for any worker in the UK?

Care staff deserve fair pay for a hard day’s work.

Care staff need to be able to live a dignified life from the pay they earn.

Care staff deserve at least the real Living Wage

There’s no better time than now to speak to your manager and employer about pay. The RCN is here to help you, but you’ll also need to get the support of your colleagues. 

Our website has information on starting a conversation between nursing staff and employers about fair pay, terms and conditions. You can also access the RCN publication Fair Pay in the Independent Sector.

You can contact RCN Direct for additional support with making a pay claim.