So, if we had a clean sheet of paper, and were devising a job and package to attract and retain people as Home Care Support Assistants, what would it look like?
It would be a guaranteed hour contract, with standard holiday, say, 35 hours per week, either morning shifts or evening shifts (but not both) and alternate week-ends.
It would be paying block hours. In other words, the person would be paid from start of shift to end of shift, including travel time.
The salary would have to be more than £22534 per annum, to match that of a Healthcare Support Assistant on the NHS.
More than, because the home care support assistant is doing similar duties, but is working on his or her own and does not get a generous pension.
So let’s say £27300 per annum, which translates at £15 per hour.
There would be an overtime rate also, to cover extra shifts in case of sickness, at say a 30% premium, or £19.50 per hour, and a bank holiday rate at £30 per hour.
There would also be mileage expenses, paid at the HMRC rate of 45p per mile (they are unlikely to do more than 10000 miles a year).
Finally there would be a clearly defined career structure, perhaps based on NVQ qualification, through Senior to Supervisor to Registered and Regional Manager.
That’s our job. Nothing particularly out of the ordinary for a job. But revolutionary in home care, because we have allowed ourselves to race to the bottom in response to local authority prices.
Next week we’ll look at how such a role would impact on minimum prices.