There are many factors here and some are being looked in isolation.
The problems are that care work is viewed by many as being unskilled, when to provide good quality care it is far from it as many skills are required for care work is not all about care.
Some of the areas are
ability to manage a persons finances
understanding moving and handling
technical support for a cared for persons equipment
understanding medication and its dispensing
with many others
So with many care workers being on just the National Living Wage hourly rate of £9.50, even the Real Living Wage of £9.90 is no where near the rates for skilled workers, which care workers should be classed as.
Also we need to get away from the idea that all care workers work in care homes for many don’t, for many work for home care providers and also many are employed direct by persons in need of care and everybody is paid a meagre salary.
As to PA care rates, well in 2010 they were far in excess of rates paid to care workers employed by care providers and if the real living Wage had been in existence it was well above what it would have been.
So what is the significance of 2010, well that was when austerity cuts were placed on Local Authorities by the then Tory/ Lib Dems collation government and the cuts went on for at least 10 more years and then there was and is COVID. So, as austerity cuts made any significance to the salary differentials for PA rates and Agency provider rates, well I believe it has and maybe to some extent is one of the reason care workers are so low paid.
But maybe not so, as care workers have aways been very low paid and social care as never been funded as sufficiently as it should have been.
While all this occurring safeguarding concerns are increasing and so is abuse of vulnerable persons, be they adults or children. Some even get as for as criminal proceedings, but again it is viewed that the problems stem from inefficient LAs and unreliable social workers, who are so over worked is it really not believable that mistakes are made, but the Government and Government inactions are never considered and blamed, they are never held accountable, when they should be.
So why are we all fighting each other and even LAs, when all this should be firmly placed at the Door of the Health and Social Care Secretary and the resulting Prime Ministers, who have done little and in reality nothing for social care, as there are even major shortage of Social Workers.
Lets all of us agree that Social Care is in a very grave and deep crisis and that is resulting in making the crisis in the NHS even worse, with bed blocking long ambulance waits, A&Es not meeting targets due to the crisis in Primary Care with GP Practices.
All this is interrelated and it affects us all, but we are so intent of blaming each other, when all the blame should be heaped on the Government. Even to the extent that until now this Government has done all it can to stop non-UK persons coming to the UK to help care worker recruitment. It is not non-UK persons who are stopping care worker salaries increasing, but the total lack of concern by this Tory Government and all previous Governments, from whichever Party they came from.
Source: Government seeks overseas care staff to fill mounting shortages – Community Care