Care home managers’ pay on the rise despite continuing low pay for care assistants

A report has found the gap between managers and frontline staff is widening- but is a good manager worth the investment?

care home
Photo: BURGER/PHANIE/REX

The shortage of registered care home managers has seen pay rates increase significantly while other care home employees struggle to earn above the minimum wage.

Average salaries for a care home manager are up almost 5%  in the last year, according to a survey into care home pay carried out by health care consultants LaingBuisson.

Up 50% in a decade

Most new homes now pay their managers a basic salary of more than £60,000. With added costs such as pensions, bonuses and national insurance, this can add up to around £100,000 a year.

The average salary for a care home manager is now 50% higher than it was in 2005. James Rumfitt, LaingBuisson Recruitment co-founder, said the residential care sector was struggling to find competent managers.

Investing in management

This has led the richest providers to take advantage of the extra money coming in from self-funding care users to invest in “top quality” senior management.

National Care Association chair Nadra Ahmed said she was “deeply saddened” about the pay discrepancy, but was not surprised.

“There is a shortage of qualified registered managers and so they can command a greater salary.

Liability implications

“People are concerned about the liability implications of [senior management]. This is a very big job that carries substantial risk with it in the event that something goes even slightly wrong.”

This report comes a year after the consultancy’s first Care Home Pay Survey which found a similar trend. It also follows a CQC report which found homes without a registered manager performed worse. The watchdog launched a drive at the end of 2013 to target the 2,439 homes that had not had a manager for at least six months.

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