As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, with care homes on the frontline and in the news so often, there has been a dramatic shift in public perception of care workers. Their skills, dedication and value to society have been exposed to public gaze like never before.
It was gratifying that those Thursday night claps, which started off as a way of acknowledging the NHS, were quickly extended to include care workers as well. Of course, clapping is great – it’s lovely to feel acknowledged and appreciated for the challenging work you do – but more importantly, improvements in pay, benefits, incentives and conditions are what really matters. This is where Hestia Care, the company that operates care homes in West Sussex and Hampshire aims to be ahead of the game.
Hestia is ahead, too, of the poll conducted by the Fawcett Society, published on May 26th, found that most people believed that care workers should be better paid and more valued. 65% of respondents were in favour of an increase in income tax to fund this.
Commercial Director, Simon Braganza says: “Caring is a vocation. Labelling a job as a ‘vocation’ doesn’t mean that salary, benefits and conditions aren’t important to employees, though it’s often the case that care workers are the sort of people who will go above and beyond even if there is no personal gain. We wish to reassure our staff that, in working for Hestia Care, they can fulfil their jobs, which are so rewarding despite the challenges, andbe properly recompensed and cared for in the best possible way.’
The new package for staff created to make sure existing staff feel valued and happy to remain with the company, and new people are keen to join, contains some exciting incentives over and above a competitive salary. These include pay supplements if all contracted hours are worked in a month and additional pay for extra overtime shifts. A ‘Refer a Friend’ scheme has been re-worked, where staff receive with £250 if a care worker joins the team and £1,000 for a nurse.
A health insurance package offers generous cash contributions for dental and optical treatment, consultations and therapy, as well as remote 24/7 GP services. A specialist team is available to offer non-diagnostic guidance and information on a wide range of health-related issues. Confidential telephone counselling provides immediate support to individuals with a wide range of emotional issues, either personal or work-related.
Then there is help with debt management concerns and advice on many issues from a team of friendly legal experts.
Simon Braganza is keen to talk to anyone in West Sussex and Hampshire area who is interested in a career in the care sector. In the current circumstances, across society many people have been furloughed or made redundant or might simply be looking for a change in career.
The future is bright for care workers and the opportunities are there for the taking.