Dumfries company introduces ‘The living wage’ to Dumfries and Galloway

Symphony Supported Living is a care organization whose head office is based in Dumfries who have just singed up to ‘the living wage’.

Monday, 22nd December 2014, 2:42 pm
Russell Brown MP, Elaine Walker  Service Manager for Care of the Elderly, Sheena Cringean  Service Manager for Mental Health, and Dr Sayani Sainudeen  CEO Symphony Supported Living.

The low rates of pay and less than ideal working conditions for care workers has been in the news for a while. Care workers, who play a critical role in keeping our elderly loved ones at home, are among the lowest paid members of society. Often being paid at minimum wage and not being paid for travel time, care workers do tasks that enable people to have a better life in their own homes. In addition, Dumfries and Galloway has one of the lowest rates of pay in the whole of Scotland.

Symphony Supported Living provide care and support to a wide spectrum of people including those with mental health problems, learning difficulties, Autism. They also support people with physical disabilities and those with age related care needs.

By signing up to “The Living Wage” campaign, Symphony guarantees that all of their employees will receive a wage is in line with the current living wage, which is determined by the Poverty Alliance. The living wage is currently £7.65 per hour in Scotland is determined by the Poverty Alliance taking in to account various factors including the cost of living.

The company is led by Dr Sayani Sainudeen who is a GP and has worked as a locum in the area for about 8 years. He is well aware of the problems faced in the care sector in the local area.

“We invest in our staff by supporting the living wage and offering a better working environment to provide a quality service. Our motto – ‘people above profits, always’ -says it all.” – Dr. Sayani Sainudeen, CEO, Symphony Supported Living

The company aims to support Citizen’s UK campaign for better social care.

Change can only brought by involving all stakeholders including care agencies, Local Commissioners, The Government and Care Workers.

Symphony aims to do their part as a provider by:

- Offering all Staff a Living Wage and paid travel time

- Saying NO to 15 minute visits

- Offering good quality training and career progression staff

The Care of the Elderly service is managed by Elaine Walker who has decades of experiences in the care sector.

She said: “We believe that we can provide a quality service by providing better conditions for our employees. Continuity of care is a critical factor for delivery of good quality care. We aim to retain our employees for longer, thus improving continuity of care we offer.”

Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown added: “I would like to congratulate Symphony Supported Living on leading the way in the private care sector in Dumfries & Galloway by paying all of their employees a Living Wage. Carers have a vital role in our society and it’s important that they receive a just wage for their work. I’m confident many other employers will join Symphony in championing the Living Wage once they see the benefits.”

Symphony is also supporting the Citizens UK’s campaign for improved social care which calls for an end to the 15 minute visits by care workers. If you wish to support the campaign or know more about Symphony, please contact 01387-406710