Manager-staff pay gap rising in care homes, finds report

LaingBuisson survey reveals that new providers are driving up manager pay

The pay gap between managers and staff in care homes for older people is widening, according to a report by research firm LaingBuisson.

The company’s Care Home Pay Survey reports that manager salaries have risen by around 25% since 2006 and that many new build homes are paying managers basic salaries of more than of £60,000 a year compared to the sector-wide average of £47,800.

Once bonuses and other financial benefits are factored in, in some homes manager pay is approaching £100,000 per year.

While manager salaries have been rising faster than average pay throughout the UK, hourly paid care staff rates were only just keeping pace with wage inflation.

The report says hourly paid care staff have seen their earnings rise about 15% since 2006, and between October 2012 and October 2013 their pay increased by just 0.9%.

LaingBuisson attributed much of the rise in manager pay to new providers entering the market.

Report co-author James Rumfitt said: “Groups want managers who can run a business, not just someone to fill in a series of tick boxes, and they are willing to pay and reward accordingly. These decisions are being made by people who are new to the market and are not constrained by the past or by debt. The knock-on effect in the sector will be considerable.”

LaingBuisson found that managers of for-profit homes are better paid than those running not-for-profit homes but care staff earned more and had better benefits in not-for-profit providers.

The report also found that nursing qualifications made no difference to manager pay and that the largest and most profitable homes were more likely to be run by a professional general manager than a qualified nurse.

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