29/10/2014

Homecarers Travel Time Is Not Paid - Unison

93% of councils in England and Wales do not make it a contractual condition for homecare providers to pay employees for travel time, according to a Freedom of Information request by UNISON.

Only 7% of councils in England require providers to pay travel time, and in Wales none of its councils instruct providers to pay for travel time.

Of the 98% of councils that responded, 79% admitted that they have never asked to see pay records or other written evidence about the pay of care workers employed by care providers they commission, in order to check National Minimum Wage compliance.

Unison General Secretary Dave Prentis said: "The Government's feeble guidance to councils will do little to curb the endemic practice of illegally paying care workers less than the National Minimum Wage. It is a scandal that more than 200,000 care workers receive less than £6.50 an hour. Many members are reporting actual hourly rates as low as £3.50.

"The only way to stamp out these illegal practices is for the Government to tighten its guidelines to ensure there is a contractual condition between councils and homecare providers that workers must be paid at least the minimum wage. And councils must be required to properly monitor compliance."

(CD/IT)

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