Care Home Bonus

Date Released - 19/12/2022

TAMESIDE’S care-home workers are to receive a Christmas bonus as a token of thanks for their hard work and selflessness in looking after the elderly, and for their dedication during the covid pandemic.

The payment, which was approved by the council’s executive cabinet at its December meeting, has been made possible by an allocation of £1.15 million of the Winter Pressures Funding to increase workforce capacity and increase discharge from hospital, thus freeing up much-needed beds.

This money has been designated as a winter prioritisation fund and will be used to pay the bonuses with a view to supporting recruitment and retention and to sustain and bolster capacity.

Recruitment and retention of staff is very challenging within the care homes sector. Data shows that in any 12-month period the proportion of new starters stands at around a third. A little more than half the workforce have been in their post less than two years.

Historically staffing sees a decline over the Christmas period as people are reluctant to work over the festive break. Other jobs, such as in the retail sector, can offer higher wages.

The bonuses will be allocated in two tranches, one paid in December and one to be paid March to support staff who have worked over the winter period.

Cllr John Taylor, Tameside Council’s executive member for Adult Services, said: “I have never made any secret of my admiration for our borough’s care-home staff.

“During the covid lockdowns they were like firefighters. When there’s a blaze, most of us run away but the fire service has to tackle it. That’s what it was like with care workers and covid. When the rest of us were being told to avoid personal contact, they had to go into work.

“The weekly clapping may have stopped for carers but their work hasn’t. They are still looking after the old and vulnerable every day. This much-deserved bonus shows them their work is appreciated and they have the full support and thanks of both myself and Tameside Council.”