Home Care Diary – Refer a Friend


The agency has started a recruitment drive. They say they’ve got loads of work but there’s a staff shortage and they can’t get enough people. That’s good for me in a way because it means I get lots of work but I need a break sometimes. They’ve been advertising on the internet and they put posters in the window of the office and they’ve started a refer a friend scheme and they’re doing presentations in schools. If I refer somebody who does 100 hours of work I’ll get £100. That’s not bad, I must tell my friends. Trouble is, most of my friends either work in care already or they don’t want to do it because of what I’ve told them so who does that leave? They asked if anyone wanted to volunteer to go into schools and talk to the kids and I said I’d go.

Kids these days don’t want to do care work do they? It’s not very sexy is it and it’s hard work and the money’s rubbish and if something goes wrong the Care Worker is the first to get the blame plus you have to clean people’s bottoms and step over cockroaches and try and get the wee off the sheets and you get shouted at and abused, criticised and moaned at and blamed – I mean, what’s not to like, as they say?

But, but, it is rewarding. I hate that word but you are helping people to have a bit of dignity in later life and you do have a lot of responsibility and independence and you’re making a real difference to people’s lives. I call that job satisfaction but kids these days; they’d rather get satisfaction from folding jumpers in Top Shop or designing an app. I can’t see Richard being a Care Worker if I’m honest – his ambition at the moment is to have his own You Tube channel; he wants to be a presenter but if he’s not careful he’ll just be a watcher.

I wish it was better paid though. I saw that this National Living Wage is being brought in in April – 7.20 an hour for people over 25. That won’t do me much good – I might be over 25 but I earn more than 7.20 already so no pay rise for me. I haven’t had a pay rise for 3 years and I’ll be lucky to get one this year. The agency is saying that this 7.20 rate is going to be a real problem for them because the Council’s won’t give them a price increase to cover it. Somebody in the Government should have thought this through – care agencies supply to local authorities and the prices are set by the contracts so if the pay goes up the price should go up but the local authorities say they haven’t got any money because their grant has been cut by Central Government, even though it’s Central Government who say people should be paid more. I think it’s a crazy system but what do I know, I’m only a Care Worker after all – I didn’t go to Eton.

I don’t understand the over 25 bit either. Surely companies will try and hire young people because they’ll be cheaper so I’ll probably get chucked out and then I’ll have to go on benefits. And what will that cost, me with Richard to support and nothing from his Dad? And why 25? Lots of people of 23 or 24 have families to support – don’t they deserve a decent wage? I thought we were supposed to be getting away from age discrimination but the government seem keen to introduce it. I think it’s mental but smarter brains than mine have worked on this so maybe they know the answer.

But anyway the pay rate is only part of it. If you said to me would I rather have 40 hours a week at 7.60 or 30 hours a week at 7.70, I know what I’d choose. The opportunity to earn, that’s all I want. Of course, £10 an hour would be nice or even £5714 like Wayne Rooney gets but I can’t see it happening. If I persuade Wayne Rooney to get a job in home care I’ll get £100. Maybe I’ll try that.

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