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Job Quality and Job Separation of Direct Care Workers in England

Vadean, Florin, Saloniki, Eirini-Christina (2023) Job Quality and Job Separation of Direct Care Workers in England. Innovation in Aging, 7 (2). Article Number igad009. ISSN 2399-5300. (doi:10.1093/geroni/igad009) (KAR id:99970)

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Background and Objectives Most job leavers in the long-term care (LTC) sector in England do not leave the sector, but rather move to other LTC employers. Nevertheless, the high ‘churn’ can have a negative impact on continuity and quality of care, care providers’ recruitment and training costs, and the remaining staff workload and motivation. This study aimed to provide quantitative evidence on the drivers of direct care workers’ job separation in England, with a focus on job quality. Research Design and Methods We used yearly data (2016-2019) from the Adult Social Care Workforce Data Set (ASC-WDS), the leading source of LTC workforce data in England and including information on both LTC workers and employers. The analysis considered panel data econometric methods that accounted for unobserved heterogeneity at worker and employer level. Results After controlling for observed individual, organizational, and local market characteristics as well as unobserved worker and employer heterogeneity, we found that, everything else being equal, wages and employment conditions (i.e., full-time contracts and contracts with guaranteed working hours) significantly reduce job separation. For example, a 10% wage increase from the sample mean would reduce the job separation rate by about 3 percentage points. This wage effect was more than halved (i.e., downward biased) when not accounting for unobserved effects. Discussion and Implications The persistent high staff turnover in LTC in England highlights the need for finding practical solutions faced by care providers and policymakers. Our findings showed that improving pay and employment conditions can be the way forward while methodologically stressed the importance of accounting for unobserved variable bias.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1093/geroni/igad009
Uncontrolled keywords: Life-span and Life-course Studies, Health Professions (miscellaneous), Health (social science)
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Personal Social Services Research Unit
Funders: Health Foundation (
SWORD Depositor: JISC Publications Router
Depositing User: JISC Publications Router
Date Deposited: 10 Feb 2023 14:40 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2023 09:44 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Vadean, Florin.

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Saloniki, Eirini-Christina.

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