ASHE figures for care workers: Slowing of an upward trend

  • 27 October 2021 27 October 2021
  • UK & Europe

ASHE figures for care workers: Slowing of an upward trend

The 2021 data for the equivalent ASHE (SOC 2000) 6115, wages of care workers, home carers and senior care workers has been published together with the revised 2020 data.  The data can be found on the Office of National Statistics website

The ONS also provide a general Statistical Bulletin overview of all data collated in the survey.

The most recent data indicates the continuation of the upward trend, but a slowing in the increase of carer’s wages. However, the pandemic and the associated effects may have played a part in this, with the exit of foreign workers following Brexit also having an impact.

ASHE 6115

The Office of National Statistics has been keen to emphasise in the release of the data, that interpreting average earnings data is difficult due the complexity of the existing situation, emphasising that users should focus “on long-term trends rather than year on year changes.”

Average pay growth rates are therefore identified as “likely to be slightly inflated in the latest year because of these complexities.” Across the median weekly earnings for all full-time employees in April 2021, there was an increase by 5.3% from a year earlier on a nominal basis. By contrast, the median weekly earnings for full-time carers in April 2021 increased by only 1.2%.

Given that many care workers and home carers are unlikely to have been furloughed due to their critical role, it is possible that the impact of furlough both in 2020 and 2021 has skewed the figures when comparing care workers and home carers to other jobs.  The attached overview from the ONS set out how this impact may have occurred.

Therefore, focusing our comparison on previous figures for carer workers gives a clearer indication of the true picture.

In 2021, the increase in the average hourly rate (mean) for carers was 3%, with an increase in the median of 2.3%.  The revised figures for 2020 showed an increase of the mean hourly rate of 5.5% and a median increase of 4.6%.  The revised 2019 figures showed a 3.8% increase in mean hourly rate and median increase of 4.3%, which itself was part of a continuing upward trend.

These figures are indicative of a deceleration. When combined with the overall increase across all the centiles of carer’s hourly pay of some 2.66%, compared to a substantial 5.48% last year, this data suggests a slight slowing of carer’s wage inflation.

The increase in carer’s wages outpaced the uplift of 2.2% for the National Living Wage from 1 April 2021, but not significantly.

The Retail Prices Index increased by 2.9% in the year to April 2021, and the Consumer Prices Index rose by 1.5% for the same period.

Application to ASHE Linked PPOs

For the percentiles most frequently encountered by Insurers in periodical payment orders to which they are a party, the new figures are as set out in the table below.

The 90th centile has seen an above average increase of 4%, from £14.26 per hour to £14.83.  This may be a bit of market settling, as the 90th centile showed a below average increase of 3.11% last year and is the biggest percentage increase in since 2007.  

As you can see below, the changes between the 2020 provisional and revised data were minimal. 


2020 Provisional

2020 Revised

2021 Provisional

% Change

2020 Revised à 2021 Provisional

90th centile




↑ 4.00%

80th centile




↑ 2.32%

75th centile




↑ 2.19%


Should you require any further information, or assistance in calculating the periodical payments, please do not hesitate to contact Kate Mikolajewski or Jodie McAuley.


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