Camden providers step up to pay carers a living wage

Two employees of Bluebird Care

Two employees of Bluebird Care - Credit: Bluebird Care

With concerns across the country about low carer wages, two Camden providers say they are working to ensure people doing valuable work are properly rewarded.

Home-care group Bluebird Care has increased the wages of its staff by 12% in Camden .

According to the Living Wage Foundation, workers in London should be paid a minimum of £11.05 and workers at Bluebird Care Camden now receive a base pay of £11.50.

Managing director George Morris said this was the result of an effort to provide equitable wages for care workers.

“We have always rewarded our carers, but it was really satisfying for senior management to give our carers what they deserve and let them know that we appreciate what they do,” said George. 

A 2019 evaluation by the Care Quality Commission found that Bluebird Care Camden was one of the top performing care centres in North London, receiving high marks in areas such as quality of care, responsiveness, and leadership. 

“We are seen as a premium provider in the local area and we charge accordingly,” said George. “We want to make sure that we are the best payers to make sure that we are premium across the board.”

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Penrose Care in Belsize Park was already paying the London Living Wage.

Managing director Bob Stephenson-Padron has been a champion of equitable wages in social care since 2012 when he began campaigning for the Living Wage movement.

“Our focus [at Penrose Care] is on the dignity of the human person; we are very worker-centric," he said. "We are not about making money for greed’s sake. It's about trying to save jobs and create jobs and help people have a decent quality of life."

Bob was recently awarded an OBE for services to social care.

He has been a champion for the liveable wages outside of the social care system, creating the Belsize Village Business Association (BVBA) and promoting it among local businesses.

The Living Wage Foundation releases its annual London Living Wage report in September.