50 years of Equal Pay: It's time to value the care sector The 29th May 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act. But the work that women do is still consistently undervalued. This is particularly the case for those who work in the social care sector - with low pay and poor terms and conditions. The average pay for social care workers employed by an agency is just £8.52 per hour. With full time workers earning just £16,400 a year. Eight out of ten care workers are women, with many BAME and migrant women working in the sector. The current Coronavirus outbreak has highlighted the vital importance of this sector. Those providing care deserve better pay. Now is the time to recognise and properly reward the contribution of carers. Our research: Our recent polling found that the vast majority of the public agree that social care workers are undervalued and they support higher pay for care workers. 72% of the public think care workers are underpaid for the work they do. Three in four people say carers should get the Real Living Wage (£9.30 per hour or £10.75 in London). 77% of the public think every worker - including care workers - should be able to access sick pay during the outbreak. Read more here. Raising the voices of care workers: Women working across the care sector have been telling us about the challenges of being a carer during the outbreak and in what ways their work is undervalued. Read more here. What we're calling for: Increase social care workers’ wages across the board, with the Real Living Wage as a minimum. Reform and invest in the social care sector, and protect social care budgets from any future funding cuts. Improve care workers’ terms and conditions: provide adequate PPE, end 15-minute visits and zero-hours contracts, pay for travel time, and give all workers entitlement to statutory sick pay. How you can help: Tell your story #ValueCare. Are you a carer or is one of your loved ones working in the care sector? Do you have a carer who supports you with day to day living? Please use the hashtag on social media to tell us about your job, being a care worker during the outbreak or simply why you think carers deserve better. We want to amplify carers voices as well as the lifesaving work they do. Write to your MP. Use our research to write to your MP and ask them to support our campaign to pay and value carers properly. Heartfelt letters work best. Explain to them why this time of crisis has highlighted that carers in your area deserve better. We've suggested some wording here. You can use this website to find out who your MP is and how to contact them. Share our research and the testimonies from care workers on social media. Help us change the narrative and get people talking about why we need to value care workers.