Social care charity Community Integrated Care (CIC) has raised pay for frontline staff to above the real living wage.
The charity said its support workers will now earn a basic hourly rate of £9.70 in England and £10.20 in Scotland.
This represents a 9% pay rise in England and will cost CIC £5m to implement.
The move comes a month after ENABLE Scotland, the largest social care charity in Scotland, announced its own plans to raise frontline wages to £10 per hour.
CIC employs 5,000 staff and has an annual income of £131m. It is in the top 100 largest charities by income in the UK.
The charity said in a statement that it was increasing wages to recognise the efforts of its staff but also in response to “the unprecedented recruitment challenges being faced by providers across the sector”.
Call for government investment
CIC launched its latest organisational strategy in 2018, which included a focus on workforce standards. The charity has also called for more government investment to reduce the number of people leaving the sector.
Mark Adams, the chief executive of CIC, said: “From the outset, a fundamental goal was to provide fairer pay and a better career for people working in care.
“We are proud to be making such enormous strides towards the realisation of this vision. Through years of hard work, innovation and focus from colleagues at all levels of our charity, we have built strong foundations that have enabled us to make this unprecedented uplift in colleague pay.
“We recognise though that our charity, and every care provider, has untapped potential and that colleagues working in social care deserve further investment. This can only be realised through central government commitment to better investment and an effective workforce strategy for the sector.”
Teresa Exelby, the chief people officer at CIC, added: “Current figures show that our sector is losing 34% of its workforce every year, with 112,000 vacancies and 8.2% of roles in care are currently unfilled. Recruitment and retention have always been challenging, but what we are seeing now is on an unprecedented scale. We hope that our now industry-leading pay rate will help us retain our own incredible people and support us to attract new talent - encouraging people from other sectors to consider a great career in care.”
CIC has now launched a recruitment drive with a dedicated website.