L’Arche UK is delighted to announce a pay increase of up to 9% for our frontline assistants, who support around 300 adults with learning disability across Britain.

From 1st April 2022, a live-out support assistant working for L’Arche will earn £10 per hour in England and Wales, £10.50 per hour in Scotland and £11.05 in London. L’Arche will now pay more both than the Government’s National Living Wage and the higher figure identified by The Living Wage Foundation as a real living wage.

This announcement, which represents an investment of three quarters of a million pounds, is the culmination of a three-year strategy, moving L’Arche to become a real living wage employer.

Kathleen Boyle, L’Arche’s Head of Care Quality, says: “This is a huge achievement for L’Arche. It is incredibly stretching for a social care provider to pay a real living wage on the rates that most cash-pressed Local Authorities are able to offer.”

The significance of the pay uplift should be seen against the backdrop of a staff turnover rate of 28.5% in adult social care across the UK, and an average of 105,000 vacancies per day in the sector during 2020-21. It demonstrates L’Arche’s commitment to valuing people and care roles, following recent increases in inflation and the cost of living.

John Casson, L’Arche’s National Leader, says: “Work in care and community roles is too often undervalued, and in L’Arche we want to start to reverse that. We want people to join us and stay with us, given all the people shortages in Britain right now. But we also want to support people who are the very heart of L’Arche, especially recognising the amazing things everyone has done through the pandemic, and the rising prices we all face. We have come a long way to reward and value our support assistants, and we want to go further. This is a step forward, but it is not the end of the story.”