Category Archives: Update from Lifeways

Learning Disabilities Voices Care Manifesto Update


LD Voices Oct Update Visual Header

Lifeways is part of LD Voices, a sector wide group which campaigns to get proper recognition for services for people with a learning disability. LD Voices have developed the Care Crisis Manifesto, which is supported by MPs of all parties, and which makes the case that investing in high quality services is good for the people we support and their families, but also brings wider benefits to our society as a whole.

Who are LD Voices

Following a number of high profile cases which hit the news in recent months, we have developed our Care Crisis Manifesto, which calls on government to do six things, all of which we believe are necessary to ensure that people with a Learning Disability can continue to get high quality care and Support.

The six things are:

• Give local authorities the freedom to raise the social care precept up to 5%, to enable them to compensate for the shortfall created by the current funding shortfall and cost increases imposed by the introduction of the National Living Wage and therefore make a greater contribution towards funding for social care;

• ‘Front-end’ the extra £700m from the Better Care Fund, making it available in 2017, to recognise the additional costs borne by the introduction of the National Living Wage;

• Amend the policy requirements for the Better Care Fund, so that it can be used by local authorities to support care packages for individuals with learning disabilities, rather than restricting it to efforts to reduce pressures on the NHS;

• Urgently clarify whether overnight ‘sleep-in shifts’ are exempt from the National Living Wage rate, as Parliament originally intended; and if not exempt, ensure full and proper funding is provided;

• Include ‘learning disabilities’ as a new and additional focus area of the newly-established £80 million Life Chances Fund, with a view to improving pathways into the workplace; and

• Urgently provide clarity on the size and scope of the local top-up fund for supported housing.

Download the full LD Voices Manifesto

What does the new National Living Wage mean for Lifeways?

As many of you will be aware the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the implementation of a National Living Wage taking effect on April 1st.

As a result, a legal minimum pay rate of £7.20 per hour must now be paid to everyone aged 25 or over in employment in the UK. For people aged under 25, the National Minimum Wage legislation still applies; the current National Minimum Wage rate is £6.70 per hour and will increase to £6.95 per hour with effect from October 1st.

We recognise that our staff teams play a crucial role in making a difference to the lives of the people we support. Without their ongoing dedication and commitment we would not be able to continue to deliver amazing outcomes for the each individual.

John Birdsall

Although the financial conditions in which Lifeways operates are increasingly challenging, due in particular to the affordability constraints placed upon our Local Authority and Clinical Commissioning Group customers, we are committed to offering and maintaining the most attractive pay arrangements we can for all Lifeways employees.

With this objective in mind, with effect from April 1st, a minimum basic hourly pay rate of £7.25 per hour is in place for all Lifeways Group employees aged 25 and over. In addition, we have also worked hard to secure a better deal for our employees aged under 25. This results is a pay increase to £7.00 per hour as a minimum basic hourly rate. Our ambition, through the establishment of Group wide minimum pay rates that are above the new legal requirements, is to position Lifeways competitively in all locations in which we operate.

In this way, we are striving continuously to reinforce engagement with our existing staff, as well as strengthen and sustain our appeal to future recruits, with the ultimate objective of delivering the best possible care we can, to the people that depend upon us.