Don’t be surprised if your local supermarket is now employing ex-care staff


Lidl National Living Wage-Care Industry NewsSo it’s now a given; shelf stackers in super markets will earn significantly more than most carers.

Today Lidl confirmed that their front end staff, their coal face workers, their customer facing and customer pacifiers will be paid the National Living Wage.


There’s absolutely nothing wrong with working in a supermarket. We all use them but try to imagine seeing your best care staff leaving to do this.

Wouldn’t that be a tragedy?

Wouldn’t that be a waste of good care staff?

Wouldn’t that reduce the actual ‘good care’ you currently supply?

Wouldn’t that be letting down the people your business cares for?

Where does this leave care providers?

Care organisation such as the National Care Association, whose members are care home owners and the UKHCA whose members are social care providers, have said that the National Living Wage will leave many care operators in dire straits and many vulnerable people left without care. They’ve written to Government asking for support as their members struggle to supply care at current contract rates supplied and set by Local Authorities.

Care Industry News rarely carries news that puts operators in a bad light. Not because we don’t want to run it but because that news tends to only achieve low moral for a hard hit industry as well as only getting remarks from the general public.

That said, only recently the site was reproached by a care operator who suggested that it had “jumped on the band wagon” by putting a link to a story that he perceived to be a negative news story about care. It wasn’t but it made us look at the news the site carries on a daily basis.

Assessing recent articles on Care Industry News, you can see we constantly strive to carry news on planning, construction, investment and training across the UK. All of this is highly positive and business to business news.

However the very notion that so many operators feel under such duress, that they are happy to say;


“Unless it* is properly funded, there is a very serious risk of catastrophic failure within domiciliary care.” (*care)  is worrying indeed.

So which is it?

I can understand the largest operators whose businesses have grown at meteoric speed being concerned about how they’re going to pay care staff more because many are just able to maintain refinanced debts.

Inevitably these care operators will suffer a similar fate to that of Southern Cross and will, hopefully be bought up by investors that are prepared to reinvest in these businesses whilst protecting the people they care for.

What of the smaller operator?

Isn’t it time that these successful businesses factored in reasonable pay for the very people that they couldn’t operate without?

According to Guy Stallard, Director of Facilities, KPMG, “We’ve found that paying the Living Wage is a smart business move as increasing wages has reduced staff turnover and absenteeism, whilst productivity and professionalism have subsequently increased”

That very sentence pretty much sums up what causes the negative stories that hit the front pages of our daily papers, as far too many operators under value their staff.

Simply by paying care staff a realistic wage a care provider will reduce costs off his bottom line.

Turnover of care staff is a countrywide issue. Paying them a wage that enables them to have a life can only be a win-win for any business.

Poorly paid and poorly trained staff inevitably bring with them poor results.

If your staff are happy, they want to share it. Work turns into a different place when you look forward to going in.

The knock on effect on the people they care for has to be positive too.

When your staff go home, they represent your company.

Surely, having your carers sharing the good day they’ve had and the investment they feel you’ve bestowed upon them will do more than any advert you pay for, could ever do?

Furthermore, isn’t it the responsibility of every care business to make work a ‘life choice’ and encourage people into work thereby reducing stress on the benefits system or is that simply for low cost supermarkets?


References:In a new report, “The Living Wage: an economic impact assessment“, KPMG has recently analysed the economic impact of raising the Minimum Wage to the Living Wage and concludes it would take just 1.3 percent of the national wage bill, lifting six million people out of poverty.


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