Milton Keynes care company commits to pay its staff Real Living Wage

Keyworkers at an MK care company are to receive 59p an hour rise with Real Living Wage instead of minimum wage

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 12:14 pm

Staff at Milton Keynes care provider, PJ Care, will begin receiving the Real Living Wage when the rate is introduced in April.

The neurological care specialists have signed up to the voluntary scheme which will see all staff receive at least £9.50 per hour.

The recommended rate is set by the Living Wage Foundation and will be 59p more per hour than the national minimum wage, which is rising to £8.91.

Staff will get a 59p per hour rise

“We already pay a minimum rate across the board, no matter what the age or employment status of our staff,” said PJ Care chairman, Neil Russell. “The hourly rate rise doesn’t sound a great deal on its own, but for an average 38.5 hour week for one of our housekeeping staff, it adds up to an increase of £1,251 on their annual salary.

He added: “We’re really pleased to be able to offer this, despite the additional costs COVID has brought us,” continued Neil. “We always aim to run as tight-a-ship as possible and whenever we make savings, we pass those onto our staff in whatever way we can.

“This will be third year in succession the board have agreed not to take a pay rise to enable a greater increase for more junior colleagues.”

PJ Care operates Mallard House in Grange Farm and Bluebirds in Shenley Lodge. The centres provide specialist neurological care for adults with degenerative conditions such as dementia, Huntington’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. They also offer rehabilitation for people with acquired brain injuries.

The centres, along with PJ Care’s Eagle Wood in Peterborough, employ almost 600 staff.

The company will be one of around only 7,000 employers UK-wide currently paying the rate. It is also applying for accreditation with the Living Wage Foundation which means it will commit to paying all staff, including contractors, the same minimum rate.

“Our ambition has long been to offer pay rates that reflect the importance and skill of the work our staff do,” said Neil, “and their efforts during the pandemic have really thrown that into sharp focus.”