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Cornerstone Healthcare launches ‘golden career’ bonus scheme

Cornerstone Healthcare has launched an uncapped, annual ‘golden career’ bonus scheme for nurses in a bid to tackle the effects of the sector wide problem of recruitment and retention.

The Hampshire-based care provider is offering up to five per cent of annual salary for all hours worked, including overtime, which is completely uncapped.

This differs from the more standard sector practice of offering welcome bonuses to staff, or capped bonuses annually.

The new bonus scheme will be rolled out to all the group’s nurses alongside a five per cent pay rise for day nurses, and an eight per cent pay rise for night nurses, effective from 16 October 2021.

The latest pay increase puts the average nursing salary at Cornerstone at around £46,000, compared to around £28,000 for a similar role within the NHS.

For a nurse on an entry level salary working an average 25 hours a month overtime, this could result in annual gross pay of around £54,600.

Cornerstone runs specialist nursing facilities across Hampshire and Surrey, with new homes due to open in Somerset in 2022 Bristol at the end of 2023.

Chief executive Johann van Zyl (pictured) said Cornerstone’s remuneration packages will make a big difference to their recruitment and retention efforts but believes that continually improving pay and bonuses across the sector is ‘unsustainable’ as a means of addressing the staffing crisis.

“The sector is facing an unprecedented challenge. It employs around 1.5 million people, but the number of vacancies is 120,000 and growing. This is felt more than ever in the South/South East where there is a higher density of care homes,” he added.

“For staff working in care, particularly in facilities with proportionally bigger staffing challenges, this means they need to do more work in less time, and it creates a lot of pressure.”

Van Zyl continued: “When this happens, often no amount of financial incentive would be enough to retain employees who want to leave their job, or even leave the sector completely.”

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