United Kingdom Homecare Association
The professional association for homecare providers

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UKHCA Media Release

National Minimum Wage: recommendation from Low Pay Commission - 27/02/2014

The Low Pay Commission's recommendation of a 3% increase in National Minimum Wage by the Low Pay Commission will, if accepted by Government, benefit low-paid workers, including many who work in social care. However, without these additional costs being recognised by local authorities, who purchase the majority of homecare, they place a further strain on the UK's beleaguered homecare sector, according to the United Kingdom Homecare Association, the professional body for domiciliary care providers.

In February, the BBC used the Freedom of Information Act (note 1) to discover that only 4 out of 101 councils in England paid at or above UKHCA's minimum price for homecare of £15.19 per hour (note 2).

A 3% uplift in the main rate for the National Minimum Wage (from £6.31 to £6.50), would increase UKHCA's minimum price to £15.74, a figure far in excess of the figure offered by most local authorities.

UKHCA Chair Mike Padgham said:

“We all want to see the homecare workers properly rewarded for the demanding and essential work they do. However, local authorities have persistently failed to recognise these cost pressures.

"It is imperative that a Government which acts on the Low Pay Commission's recommendation to increase the Minimum Wage also heeds the Commission's urge for a requirement for councils to take account of the full costs of care in the statutory guidance it is currently preparing on commissioning of social care.” (Note 3)

Notes for Editors

1. See, which summarises findings reported by BBC Radio 4's "File on Four" investigation "Cut-Price Care" on Tuesday 4th February 2014.

2. Angel, C (2013) A Minimum Price for Homecare. Sutton: United Kingdom Homecare Association.

3. See paragraph 18 of the Executive Summary to the Low Pay Commission' Annual Report.

4. There are over 6,880 registered homecare providers across the UK, the majority of which (84%) are in the independent and voluntary sectors. We estimate that these organisations employ over 440,900 homecare workers, who deliver over 6.65 million hours of care per week to around 600,500 service users, valued at £4.8 billion per annum.

5. United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) is the professional association for more than 2,100 domiciliary care providers in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

6. UKHCA’s mission, as a member-led professional association, is to promote high quality, sustainable care services so that people can continue to live at home and in their local community. We do this by campaigning and through leadership and support to social care providers.

7. UKHCA has a vetting procedure for its members, all of whom agree to abide by the Association’s Code of Practice, which can be found at

8. Homecare encompasses provision of personal care, to people in their own homes. For many, homecare is the alternative of choice for people who would otherwise need to move into residential accommodation.

9. The majority of homecare is funded by the state (usually by local council social services departments, Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) or Health and Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland). However, homecare services are largely delivered by independent and voluntary sector providers working under contracts with the statutory sector.

10. Regularly updated statistical information about homecare services in all four UK administrations is available from "An Overview of the UK Domiciliary Care Sector" at

11. High resolution royalty-free images of Mike Padgham, Chair quoted in this release is available, at:

12. For further information please contact:

Colin Angel, Head of Policy and Communication
United Kingdom Homecare Association
Group House, 52 Sutton Court Road, Sutton, SM1 4SL

Direct Line: 020 8661 8160
Mobile: 07920 788993

Registered in England, No. 3083104.

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