Westminster Labour Councillors are deeply concerned by news that over 40% of staff at Westminster Council’s Westmead and Carlton Dene Residential Care Homes are being paid below the London Living Wage (LLW). After raising concerns internally about this shocking state of affairs Labour Councillors are now going public to demand action from Westminster Council to end this failure to properly look after those who look after elderly residents on its behalf.
Since Westminster Council outsourced management of its Residential Homes to Sanctuary Care, levels of pay for carers and other staff have dropped substantially (Westminster claims all of its directly employed staff are paid the LLW or above). Care Assistants, Domestic Assistants and Supervisors, receptionists and most of the chefs were all being paid substantially below the current London Living Wage (£9.75 per hour), some by almost as much as £2 per hour below the appropriate level. Despite the change of management these staff are still working on behalf of the council to look after elderly and vulnerable residents and it is Westminster Council who sets the terms of the contract.
Westminster Labour believes all council employees and contractors should receive the London Living Wage, but it is particularly shocking that instead of Westminster Council moving closer to the LLW in its residential homes the situation is actually getting worse.
Westminster Labour Leader Cllr Adam Hug said, “Westminster Council is failing in its duty of care to its care home workers. When other councils are moving to pay the Living Wage to everyone they are responsible for, whether outsourced or not, it is shameful that those caring for Westminster’s elderly are getting treated so shabbily. The Council must get round the table with Sanctuary Care and urgently sort out this contract so that all care home staff get paid at least the London Living Wage.”
In 2015 the management of six residential homes in Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea were transferred to the management of Sanctuary Care (part of the Sanctuary Housing Group- a registered social landlord). These were: Carlton Dene (WCC Residential Care), Westmead (WCC Residential Care), Athlone House (Westminster NHS Nursing Care), Garside House (Westminster NHS Nursing Care), Butterworth Centre (Westminster NHS Nursing Care) and the Princess Louise Kensington (Kensington & Chelsea NHS Nursing Care).