UNISON Cymru/Wales welcomes pay boost for care workers

Thousands of care workers across Wales living on the breadline are to receive a pay rise which has been welcomed by public services union UNISON.


News that all registered care workers in Wales will benefit from being paid the ‘Real Living Wage’ of £9.90 per hour as of April next year comes as the Welsh Government also announces its latest Budget proposals for the year ahead.


Typically, care workers in Wales currently earn the national minimum wage, which increased on 1 April to £8.91 per hour.


The Welsh Government has also committed to developing a National Care Service, something UNISON says is overwhelmingly backed by the public.


Earlier this year UNISON commissioned a Savanta ComRes poll of 1,021 people in Wales which found 72 per cent of the Welsh public would support the creation of a National Care Service, similar to the NHS, to deliver social care for older, disabled and vulnerable people.


In addition, in light of today’s Budget proposals, the union also wants to see the Welsh Government set up a separate and significant additional climate and decarbonisation budget as well as recognising that any cuts to public services will eventually place additional demands on the NHS.


UNISON has highlighted what it sees as the continued unfairness of low pay rises over the last decade for thousands of workers delivering vital public services in the NHS, councils and elsewhere. It argues there is a duty on Welsh Government to factor in funding for annual pay awards, when it is formulating departmental budgets.


Care worker Peter Garland welcomed the news of a pay rise and said: “This will be a long-anticipated boost for tens of thousands of care workers in Wales, who are paid minimum wage for looking after our most vulnerable.


“Their work has been undervalued for a long time, but the commitment and professionalism they showed during the pandemic has woken up the public to the vital service they provide.

“It was not enough to clap them and we know that many will be so pleased that Welsh Government has made this announcement today.”


UNISON Cymru Wales regional secretary, Karen Loughlin said: “This is a welcome first step towards addressing the endemic poverty pay and poor conditions within the sector and alongside the new commitment to work towards the establishment of a National Care Service, stands in stark contrast with the complacency and neglect shown by the Westminster Government.


“UNISON will now continue to work with the Welsh Government to address these wider concerns, to improve the lives of tens of thousands of low paid, mainly women workers in every community in Wales.”


Notes to Editors

Care workers in Wales typically receive the national minimum wage of £8.91

– The Welsh Government has today confirmed care workers will receive the ‘Real Living Wage’ of £9.90 per hour as of April 2022.

– This equates to a 11% pay rise.

– The ‘Real Living Wage’, the independently-calculated rate by the Living Wage Foundation, is the minimum income needed to survive, based upon a basket of household goods and services

– In April 2021 UNISON commissioned a Savanta ComRes poll of 1,021 people in Wales which found 72 per cent of those who responded would support the creation of a National Care Service.


Media contact:

Press and Media Officer Alastair Gittins

Mobile: 07816 53 83 97

Email: a.gittins@unison.co.uk