Care workers in Wales to be paid 'real living wage' - and more than those in England

  • Video report by ITV Wales' National Correspondent Rob Osborne

Tens of thousands of eligible carers across Wales are to be paid more in June after a grassroots campaign for a 'real living' wage.

The pound increase every hour means carers will be in a better position than equivalent staff in England.

Edel Anabwani has been a leading voice in the campaign. Her pay was stopped when she fell ill with Covid which led to her protesting at bus-stops, where she met other carers who were in similar situations.

Edel has been working with Citizens UK to make sure care workers get a real living wage in Wales - and the campaign has been a success.

In June, the hourly rate of pay for eligible carers will rise from £9.90 to £10.90.

Though in England, during the same month, carers' pay will rise to £10.42.

Edel campaigned at bus stops for a real living wage for carers during the pandemic.

As part of her role, Edel has been talking to carers, listening to their issues and seeing how she can empower them and help them through the campaign.

With the information and evidence that she gathered, Citizens Cymru Wales were able to set up meetings with politicians and Edel was able to attend to explain her situation.

'Carers now feel part of society'

She's described the pay rise as "motivation" that's brought "smiles to people's faces".

"That 40p may feel like it's nothing to someone else, but it is something to the care worker," she said.

Ms Anabwani has met with the First Minister Mark Drakeford more than once, to act as a voice for carers across Wales.

In one meeting, she told ITV News: "I did tell him soon I'll be taking care of you.

"If I come to take care of you in the same position I'm in now, I'm bound to not give you the kind of care you need.

"The First Minister did say, I've seen this, I know what a care person does because within my own family I've had people who've been taken care of."

Citizens Cymru Wales has been calling for a real living wage in social care across Wales since 2016.

Last year, as a result, the Welsh Government invested more than £40 million in the hope of lifting caseworkers out of poverty pay.

In December last year, a further £70 million was pledged to cover the costs of the pay increase this June.