The county council has unveiled plans to put an extra £12million into the pockets of Hertfordshire’s care workforce.

Being so close to London, Hertfordshire County Council says it has often struggled to recruit and keep hold of care workers who help support elderly and disabled people in the county.

There are currently 30,000 care workers in Hertfordshire, and the council wants to maintain or improve that figure, so hope by increasing pay, it will encourage those to stay in the county, or forge a new career as a care worker.

The £12 million would come from an additional two per cent increase in council tax, known as the ‘social care precept’, which is ring-fenced to help ease some of the funding pressures in providing adult social care.

The proposals, including how exactly the funding will be implemented, still needs to be finalised before being put before councillors on February 25.

Richard Roberts, executive member of adult care and health at Hertfordshire County Council, said: "It takes a special person to care, and we hear time and time again from our care workforce that they do this job because it’s a vocation, supporting people to live as independently as possible.

"We hope that this extra pay will help us to encourage some of the people who have left social care to work in other sectors to come back to social care - and that people who may not have been financially able to consider care as a career choice before will come and join us now.

"Without people working in care the whole health and social care system would collapse. We are hoping this investment reinforces our message to those frontline workers; we are listening, we value the role you play in our society and we want you to continue providing quality support to those who need it."

Colin Horne, managing director of Care By Us, one of the lead providers of care to people in their own homes in Hertfordshire, added: "We have a lot of great people working hard each day to support vulnerable Hertfordshire residents in need of social care, and it would be fantastic if we could offer them an increase in pay as a step forward to reflecting the value of their work to our communities.

"As a large employer in the county, any potential additional funding that can be made available should and would be passed onto our workforce. It would make a significant difference to our ongoing challenge of recruiting and retaining care staff, so we look forward to hearing the councillors' decision on this proposal."