Leading care home operator Barchester Healthcare recognised the “exceptional hard work” of its frontline staff with £4.3m in bonus payments during 2020.
In its latest accounts, Barchester also revealed it had incurred costs of £2.4m for PPE and £2.5m for sick pay in the year.
The accounts show that pre-tax profits last year declined to £19.17m from £21.79m with revenues increasing from £657.6m to £663.40m.
A Barchester spokesperson said: “We are very supportive and grateful for the work that our staff working in our homes and hospitals do in delivering fantastic quality of care for our residents and patients, and as such the remuneration scheme for our care staff is the best in the care sector with just under 7,000 care staff in homes receiving a bonus in 2020 linked to the quality of care they deliver as rated by the external care inspectorate which is a recurring annual scheme.
“We also paid all care home staff three COVID-related bonuses in recognition of the commitment and hard work they displayed throughout such a difficult time, while also paying enhanced sick pay to those who tested positive for COVID-19 and topping up wages to 100% for staff furloughed due to the need to shield.”
Barchester said average bonus payments to frontline care staff averaged £224 with a highest payment of £2,190.
The care home provider said it had no plans to extend the COVID bonus scheme beyond the three payments offered, the last of which was made in April 2021.
“We are an above national minimum wage and national living wage employer and have been awarded ‘Best Company’ accreditation in each of the last 2 years (being the only one of the large healthcare providers to have received such accreditation), in recognition of the regard that staff have for the business as an employer,” Barchester said.