Following on from its well established Caring for Carers employee welfare pledge, Radfield Home Care’s network of high-quality care franchises are reaping the rewards of paying their employees the Real Living Wage.
Recognising the impact its employees’ wellbeing has on the services provided to its clients, Radfield Home Care has always been proud to support its staff with employee recognition schemes, a supportive work environment and high wages – collectively referred to as its ‘Caring for Carers Pledge’. However, its company owned branches and a number of franchise partners have now taken this commitment one step further and have achieved Living Wage Foundation Accreditation for voluntarily paying a ‘Real Living Wage’.
The Living Wage Foundation recognises employers that voluntarily pay their workforce at least £9.00 per hour, or £10.55 in London. This ‘Real Living Wage’ is calculated based on the cost of living, and is the recommended hourly wage required in order for employees and their families to live. As well as the natural impact this has on employees, it has also been proven to have a positive impact on the growth of businesses due to improved reputation, increased employee retention rates and an ethically-based USP. Radfield’s accredited franchise partners and branches join the likes of Google, ITV and IKEA that are all large, well known Living Wage Employers.
Radfield Home Care’s franchisor and co-founder, Dr Hannah MacKechnie explained why they took the decision to increase their pay rates to the Real Living Wage: “We have always paid our staff well, however, our franchise partner in Harrogate, Matthew Nutting first approached us with the idea of becoming an accredited Living Wage Employer in his territory as he was eager to enhance the rewards he was offering his staff. We support all our franchise partners to set pay rates based on their local market forces, so we began working with Matthew to implement this strategy and it became immediately clear the difference just a £0.30 increase could make.
“We all expected it to impact on Matthew’s recruitment but, to our surprise, it also had a huge impact on his client attraction. This meant his business began to grow from strength-to-strength, as he was able to consistently balance the growth of his care team and increasing the hours of care delivered to clients. It was clear there were more benefits to the accreditation than we originally anticipated, so began looking to roll it out through more of our franchise and company owned network.”
Matthew has been delighted with the outcome of his Living Wage Accreditation and firmly believes it has been a crucial factor in his success to date: “I believe carers are one of the most committed work forces out there, yet all too often they are not acknowledged for their efforts. Radfield already has a great policy for rewarding staff through our Caring for Carers Pledge, but I wanted to try and take this one step further. I am really pleased to see it has helped with my staff retention and satisfaction, but I am amazed at the impact it has had on my clients. They really like the fact that we put as much emphasis on looking after our staff as we do providing them with a high quality care service. I would definitely recommend Living Wage Accreditation to any business out there looking to grow sustainably and ethically.”
Just under one third of Radfield’s network is now Living Wage Accredited, with more reviewing their payment structures to try and achieve the recognition. Another franchise partner that has already increased his pay rates is Dave Bellis in Liverpool North and is he experiencing similar benefits to Matthew: “For me, one of the biggest rewards of operating my own business is offering my employees a great place to work and the Real Living Wage is a massive piece in this puzzle. It is great to see my staff feeling valued and motivated through earning a good wage.”
Radfield introduced its Caring for Carers pledge in 2013, with the vision to provide a fairer and more enjoyable work environment for its employees. This helped significantly decrease staff turnover and it is now hoping the Living Wage Accreditation will decrease this further – meaning the network will benefit from reduced recruitment and training costs.