Responding to a consultation on the impact of the Procurement Reform Act, the ALLIANCE highlighted a gap between pay for day and night care.
The ALLIANCE has today submitted its response to a Scottish Parliament committee scrutinising the impact of the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014. The Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee has been asking for views on how the act has affected fair work as part of public procurement contracts.
In drafting a response to the consultation, the ALLIANCE has drawn upon the experience of our members, many of whom engage in public procurement as part of their social care role, and our own experience in delivering the Links Worker programme in more than 30 GP practices across Glasgow.
Whilst welcoming increases in wages for social care staff working daytime hours, we note that full implementation of a real living wage for overnight support has not yet been achieved. A survey of care providers in Scotland in August 2019 found that 54% of the rates offered for overnight care were considered insufficient to cover the full cost of implementation.
We highlighted remarks by COSLA that better pay and conditions elsewhere was one of the driving factors behind social care workers, who are overwhelmingly women, leaving the workforce. We therefore urge that social care workers should be paid the Scottish living wage for every hour worked. We also consider that Fair Work practices go beyond the living wage, and that staff should receive remuneration that accurately reflects the value of the work done.
In response to questions about procurement processes, we raised concerns that competitive tendering processes can hinder rather than help partnership working, as well as contradict the values of self-directed support. Reflecting on the findings of ALLIANCE engagement activity to inform the Independent Review of Social Care, the response also suggests that greater community involvement in commissioning would be an improvement.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many public bodies took a more flexible approach to commissioning. This was a key contributor to the effective and rapid response of the third sector to the challenges facing society. A permanent reduction in bureaucratic requirements would help ensure that third sector social care organisations could continue that excellent work in the long term.
You can read the full ALLIANCE consultation response via the links below.