Blairgowrie care home staff to receive pay rise and flexible working hours as reward for pandemic resilience

Staff at a care home in Blairgowrie will be offered a pay rise and more flexible working hours as the sector faces “massive” issues with staff retention and recruitment following the immense pressures they faced during the pandemic.

Beech Manor Care Home and 15 other homes – all run by operator Renaissance Care – will see an “overhaul in the traditional operations” as it responds to rising resignations of care staff across the industry.

The decision follows feedback from interviews with staff across all levels of the care group, as part of a company-wide review.

Renaissance, which employs 1200 people, is reviewing the culture, working practice, and its health and wellbeing offering across the board.

In response to feedback around long shifts within the care sector, which have historically been 12-hour shifts as industry standard, Renaissance Care will now offer staff a “flexible working pattern” based on their individual requirements.

The move means that those who want to change shifts around childcare commitments, or want to cut down on long shift times can do so, while office staff will have the option to move to a four-day working week.

The group will also implement a minimum five per cent pay increase for all staff and has committed to becoming a Scottish Living Wage Employer.

In line with the review, the care group is also undergoing a project to promote “inclusivity and security” among its workforce.

It has committed to supplying sanitary items for female staff in all of its facilities, as well as becoming a menopause-friendly workplace with plans to roll out training for staff later this year.

Care bosses also look to ensure an inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ staff and residents with an understanding that identities can be complex.

The home will also introduce a health and wellbeing package which includes free access to danceSing for all staff members – encouraging health and wellbeing through fitness classes with a saving of £400 per year for each individual.

Staff rooms in each home will be upgraded to ensure its care teams have a space that “promotes a positive culture” throughout shifts.

In addition, the care home operator is currently investing £500,000 on its operational management and accounting systems to improve administrative processing for all staff as it responds to feedback about time spent on paperwork throughout shifts.

Managing director at Renaissance Care Louise Barnett said: “It is absolutely clear that staff retention and recruitment across the care industry is a massive issue on the back of the pandemic.

“It comes as no shock that staff, who have had an incredibly difficult two years looking after our most vulnerable in society, would consider changing careers.

“For most organisations, people are at the heart of the business, but within the care sector it is no exaggeration that staff play the most crucial role in ensuring that elderly residents receive care that goes above and beyond, and we see time and time again the difference that our teams make to people’s lives.”

Robert Kilgour, executive chairman of Renaissance Care, has been a consistent industry voice throughout the pandemic, calling for more support for care homes across the country.

Robert Kilgour, executive chairman of Renaissance Care, said: “The last two years have been an incredibly tough time for residents, families and hard-working team members in care homes across the country and it is important to us that we provide the best possible care and facilities for our people.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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