HC-One tackles recruitment and retention challenges

James Tugendhat

HC-One is investing over £17m in a scheme that will see its experienced and trained carers earn above the Real Living Wage (RLW).

The pay and reward offer will provide support for new and experienced colleagues to develop their skills in care. The provider will introduce higher pay rates, greater wage transparency, and increased investment in the professional development and career progression of staff.

From early next year, every HC-One care worker who has two years’ experience will be paid above the RLW (£9.90/hr). The final rates are subject to consultation with the GMB union.

In addition, new colleagues who are just beginning their career in care will receive a pay increase after they have completed their first six months. Staff in London will receive above the London RLW rate (£11.05/hr) after six months, to reflect the costs of living in the capital.

The scheme builds on HC-One’s announcement in April of pay improvements for its staff.

‘Our new pay and reward offer is designed to help us to attract and retain the very best people to provide high quality, kind care to our residents and to help us achieve our mission to be the first choice for families, colleagues and commissioners in the communities we serve,’ said James Tugendhat, HC-One chief executive officer.

‘We are grateful to have the financial support of long-term owners who continue to recognise that tackling the sector-wide workforce challenges is a priority, and who have enabled us over the past six years to invest in our HC-One colleagues.’

On the government’s white paper, which was published this week, Tugendhat said the document was ‘in complete alignment’ with both its experience of providing care in the sector and where investment is required.

‘We welcome the sentiment that the white paper is a starting point and will be developed and strengthened in partnership with all stakeholders,’ he said.

‘This spirit of co-design is incredibly important and gives us the opportunity to use our expertise and on-the-ground experience to shape vital aspects such as the cost of care and the post-October 2023 system changes, as well as ensuring fairness for those who use and pay for care and deliver stability and sustainability for those who provide care.

‘In the immediate term though, we cannot ignore the issues that are affecting the sector today, particularly workforce and recruitment challenges, and the pressures put on the health and care systems over winter.

‘It is important that funding and support for these pressing challenges is forthcoming so we can tackle them now, and this in turn will help efforts to build a sustainable sector for the long-term.’