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Retirement village celebrates another year of sharing success with staff

ByRachel Smith

Oct 13, 2018

Hot on the heels of the announcement that the company is to become employee owned, Middleton Hall staff are to receive a further boost, benefitting from a pay increase that will reflect the latest ‘Real Living Wage’.

As an accredited Living Wage employer, the award-winning business in Middleton St George, near Darlington will soon be paying all its employees at least £9 per hour, a rise of 2.8% and a higher rate than the Government’s National Living Wage for over 25s of £8.21 as recently announced in the Budget.

The Real Living Wage, set by the Living Wage Foundation is independently calculated and based on what people need to earn to get by and meet the actual cost of living. The raise in the rate marks the start of the Foundation’s annual celebration week which runs from 5 – 10 November 2018.

This is Middleton Hall’s fourth year as an accredited Living Wage Foundation Employer, a title that Managing Director Jeremy Walford says it is very proud to hold.

“We are a Living Wage Employer because we believe in recognising and rewarding people for their dedication,” he added.

“People who visit are always impressed by our great facilities but, as our residents will tell anyone, what really matters is our staff. Our investment in the very best facilities would be wasted if we did not employ the very best people to work in them.

“Middleton Hall is through and through a people business and our commitment to paying the Living Wage is part and parcel of that.”

Paying the Real Living Wage is only one of the ways that Middleton Hall shows how it holds its staff in high esteem.

In September it announced it was selling the highly successful business to its employees and creating a John Lewis model of an Employee Ownership Trust.

“Sharing the success of our business with employees is one of Middleton Hall’s fundamental beliefs and I am a passionate believer that business is not just about money, particularly in social care,” Jeremy continued.

“Over the last few years we have been carefully planning how we can better share our success in the long term. We were looking for a way that would avoid Middleton Hall becoming another example of a once caring business that becomes a shadow of what it was originally under a more profit driven new owner, something that is common in the adult social care market.

“We were therefore delighted to be able to announce the transition to employee ownership in April 2019.”

Liz Marley, a carer at Middleton Hall commented: “This investment in the Middleton Hall team recognises the importance of attracting and keeping the best staff in this vitally important, but often undervalued adult social care sector.  It is great to work for a company that has this insight and recognises the value of everyone’s contribution in providing outstanding care.”