Living wage for Social Care Staff

My motion to Manchester Council 13th July 2016

Better Care: a living wage for social care staff


Manchester Council has a history of listening and acting with the best interests of Manchester people. Manchester City Council introduced the Manchester Minimum Wage in 2008, and in 2014 the Council passed a motion to support in support of a Living Wage for all directly and indirectly employed staff, including staff employed by MCC’s contractors and sub-contractors, and employees in the city’s schools. Progress to date is to be commended.


There is a national crisis in the funding of adult social care. This government has left Manchester with a funding crisis and with council budgets stretched and demand increasing, the task of providing quality care services has become more and more difficult. In residential care especially, there is growing private funded market. Academic research (CRESC, 2016) claims that the biggest residential care providers operate on 12% profit margin, which it compares to Tesco who expect a profit margin of 2-4% next year.[1] Research should be undertaken in Manchester to understand if this is the case.

Manchester’s residential and home care market is fragmented with a mixture of social enterprises, charities, housing providers, small companies and large private companies, delivering care. Manchester City Council is committed to delivering a high quality, integrated care system that best meets the needs of its citizens


This council believes:

Across the country the care sector workforce is made up of predominately low paid women, often on precarious contracts with limited terms and conditions. Research shows that care outcomes are improved, when the workforce is properly trained and paid, reducing staff turnover and driving up standards.

In the context of devolution and integration, this is a key time for a new vision of what a coherent and integrated social care system would be. A care system that pays a living wage; provides decent conditions for social care workers and offers future job prospects and training for carers.


We recognise that the Council cannot be a lone voice in driving up standards and wages, and there must be a Greater Manchester wide approach in bringing businesses, social enterprises and voluntary sector providers with us. Manchester should take a lead in influencing this agenda at a Greater Manchester level and ensure that these values are embedded in to Manchester’s Locality Plan and its approach to social care.

Therefore, this council resolves:

  • Manchester care services to work towards a real living wage for commissioned social care staff.
  • Current practises around living wage are monitored within commissioned providers.
  • During the review of Manchester’s Home Care provision, it takes in to consideration staff pay and training.
  • Manchester uses its influence within devolution to argue for a high quality, sustainable and effective residential and home care system, exploring new models of working where appropriate.

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