Connected Health, a home care provider, has announced a 4% increase in hourly pay to £10 per hour as part of a challenge to hire 100 care workers in a week.
Connected Health, based in Belfast, also stated that it is offering a separate £100 “sign-up bonus” to every care worker it hires this month, with the new hire then required to stay for at least three months.
The company stated that its recruitment drive was intended to address a staffing crisis in the industry. It plans to hire “hundreds” of new caregivers across Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, and the United Kingdom over the next year. The company also announced a “significant” pay increase from £9.50 to £10 per hour, which it claims will make its employees “the best-paid care workers in Northern Ireland.”
When its carers began receiving a minimum hourly wage of £9.50 an hour earlier this year, Connected Health said it became the first home care company in Northern Ireland to pay the Real Living Wage.
According to Director Ryan Williams, there is a growing need for home care on both sides of the border.
“The NHS and the HSE are facing the same issue — the need for more people to be discharged from hospital.
“As a sector, we require many more carers working on the ground in their communities to help achieve that.
“Currently health services are experiencing winter pressures in the middle of summer and drastic action is needed to meet the substantially increased demand for home care workers.
“We are answering the call and this initiative is designed as much to raise awareness of the seriousness of the situation, as it is to help address it by increasing staff numbers.”
He claimed that the company could “easily” provide jobs for 1,000 qualified applicants, and that “the situation is the same right around the care sector on the island of Ireland and in the United Kingdom.”
Mr. Williams added: “Many more carers are needed on the ground today in their local areas, supporting vulnerable local people who need assistance to ensure they can live comfortably at home, as per their wishes.
“By doing this, they will be vastly improving the quality of life of those who wish to remain in their own homes, while also relieving the pressures on our struggling hospitals and stretched health services.
“We have to find the new capacity to meet the increasing needs of communities.”