Care staff in the private and voluntary sectors received bigger pay increases last year than the national average, a new report claims.
The biggest gains came in the private sector, where the median rate for unqualified care assistants rose by 6.5 per cent, according to the employment research organisation IDS.
Staff qualified to NVQ level two working in the voluntary sector had a 6 per cent rise in their median wage, says the report.
It also finds that voluntary care providers paid staff 10 to 13 per cent more than those in the private sector.
But the median of the lowest rates of pay for permanent adult employees, of £5.40 an hour, was only 35p above the national minimum wage.
The government has said the national minimum wage for adults will rise to £5.35 an hour from October.