Surrey Choices becomes a Real Living Wage Employer
From April, Surrey Choices became a ‘Real Living Wage’ employer offering a minimum hourly rate of £9.90 per hour to all employees.
All employees have received a pay uplift of at least 4%, rising to 8% for those people on the lowest pay grades. Additional beneficial terms and conditions that already include 25 days holiday pay, a contributory pension, personal development, and career progression, complete the pay package.
It has been the ambition of the Surrey Choices Board to pay the Real Living Wage and this financial year it becomes a reality. Surrey Choices is a Local Authority Trading Company, wholly owned by Surrey County Council. Having been awarded a 2022-23 inflationary uplift on their block contract for social care, the Board of Surrey Choices has used the opportunity to introduce this ambitious pay uplift.
“As a Board we are reliant on our colleagues to provide exceptional care and support to all our customers, and we wanted to particularly recognise the value of our front-line operational colleagues.” says Jane Earl, Chair of the Surrey Choices’ Board. “They continue to do an amazing job and we are very grateful to the whole team for doing so despite the ongoing challenges of staffing pressures, Covid, and cost of living rises.”
How it will help
This pay award will help employees of Surrey Choices to better withstand inflationary pressures. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it also makes good business sense. The care sector has found staff retention and recruitment increasingly difficult as other sectors improve their rates of pay.
It is anticipated that higher salaries for front line staff will reduce vacancy rates, leading to growth in some of the new services that Surrey Choices is looking to develop. This includes its Flexi-Choices evening and weekend short breaks service that provides respite for Carers in the knowledge that their loved ones are safe and having fun.
The ‘Real Living Wage’ is independently calculated based on what employees and their
families need to live. It is therefore higher than the Government minimum statutory ‘National Living Wage’.
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