Equal Pay and the Struggles of Care Workers

Struggles Of Care Workers

A care worker is someone who offers support and care to someone who needs it because of disease, disability, or age. Care homes in the UK are run without hiccups because of healthcare professionals like care workers and nurses. However, despite the importance of their role in the healthcare industry, the struggles of a care worker are endless. Care workers are undervalued by both the government and the general public. They are also often paid unfairly, forcing them to change their careers. 

Equal Pay

From the times of the cave dwellers to the technology-driven society of today, men and women have always worked together to run their homes. However, despite playing equally important roles in society, men and women are rarely valued equally by their employers. The concept of equal pay suggests that everyone should be paid equally regardless of their gender. The only exception to this rule is a justified difference in pay. 

In 1970, the UK passed the Equal Pay Act that prohibited businesses from discriminating against employees on the basis of gender concerning their pay and working conditions. The Equality Act of 2010 added more defined provisions for gender equality in the workplace. Under the Equality Act of 2010, every person in the country is entitled to equal pay for equal work regardless of their gender and ethnic background. 

However, despite the Equal Pay and Equality Acts, the situation in the workplaces of the UK is dire for working women. According to the Office for National Statistics, women’s aggregate earnings were.7.7% lower than that of men in the year 2023. Taking steps in the right direction is necessary for eliminating the gender gap, and educating women about their rights under the law of the country is one way to do that. 

The Struggles of Care Workers in the UK

Working as a care worker comes with its fair share of challenges. Although it is one of the best career choices for people passionate about helping others, it is not always a satisfactory way of earning a living. In order to protect the care workers of the UK, employers need to start valuing them. 

Here are some of the struggles you may face as a care worker in the UK:

Society’s Negative View of the Profession

Care work is often seen as unskill labour having no social or economic value. Even though care workers care for society’s weakest and vulnerable, they are not seen in a positive light by the majority of the public. 

Lack of respect from society not only reduces the job satisfaction for care workers but also leads them to change career paths. Making care workers feel valued is highly important for a better society and the future of the care industry. 

The Absence of a Pay Structure

The UK has one of the best healthcare industries in the world. However, where other healthcare professionals get paid handsomely, care workers are under-reward in both government and private sector jobs. In 2021, a report reveal that care work is one of the occupations with the largest number of employee jobs paid below the living wage. 

There’s no pay structure in the UK for care workers and one of the reasons behind that is the assumption that it is a woman’s job. The assumption leads employers to pay whatever little they wish to their care workers despite the fact that they cannot discriminate based on gender under the country’s laws. 

Eliminating the Struggles of Care Workers through Equal Pay

Protecting the care industry is essential to ensure that society doesn’t fall apart. However, improving the conditions for care workers requires serious work. Ensuring equal pay is one of the best ways to help care worker feel appreciated. Equal pay will not only improve job satisfaction for care workers, but it will also keep them from changing careers. 

If you are training to become a care worker, it is important to learn about the industry beforehand. Despite the gender gap slowly closing down in the UK, there are still many employers who try to get away with discriminating against their care workers. Finding a reliable recruitment platform can be helpful when searching for good employment opportunities. Reach out to ESGO today if you don’t want to be underpaid as a care worker and we will help you find the best paying jobs.