Hundreds of people who work closely with children or adults to help meet their social care needs should see a rise in their incomes next year as part of Labour’s budget proposals, the Leader of the Council has said.
Personal Assistants (or PAs) are employed directly by people receiving either Adults or Children’s Social Care, in order to help them maintain their independence. More than 430 people across the borough currently employ someone on this basis. Service users receive a direct payment from the council that they then use to pay their PA, but at the moment the rate of pay funded by the council is limited to the government’s national minimum wage – currently set at £8.91 per hour for anyone aged over 23.
From April, assuming it is approved, Labour’s budget will increase that rate to the Real Living Wage, as determined by the Living Wage Foundation, which from April will be £9.90.
"By lifting the rates that the council can pay next year, we will be prioritising that vital work, and hopefully helping to make life a little easier for those who take on such an important role.” Cllr Chris Read
The role of a PA might include: organising and supporting individuals with their social and physical activities, booking and going with individuals to appointments, helping individuals to get to work, college or university, helping with personal care such as showering and dressing, or – for those employed by parents or guardians to support children – providing respite care.
Labour Leader of Rotherham Council, Cllr Chris Read said;
“Earlier this year, the council won national accreditation in recognition of the work we have done to lift the incomes of people in low paid work, ensuring that they receive at least the Real Living Wage. Already over the last few years more than 2,000 people have directly benefited, and as we set out our budget proposals next year we want to help hundreds more to do the same. For many people, Personal Assistants make a critical difference to their lives, ensuring that they get exactly the help that they need. By lifting the rates that the council can pay next year, we will be prioritising that vital work, and hopefully helping to make life a little easier for those who take on such an important role.”