Homecare workers paid £10,000 in backpay from care agencies breaching wage rules

16 September 2020

Premier Carewaiting, Kammil Education and Dilligent Care Services have been named as three social care agencies who must pay homecare workers more than £10,000 that they are owed in backpay, as it was discovered that they were in breach of wage rules, at an employment tribunal.

Back in 2016, trade union Unison represented ten care workers, who stated that they were paid below the minimum wage rate by the businesses, who contracted them to work for Haringey Council. According to the union, the care workers were not paid for the hours that were spent travelling to clients’ houses, even though staff were required to move from home to home to complete their jobs. The union asserted that this resulted in the care workers earning less than half the legal minimum hourly rate during a standard 14-hour day.

The tribunal ruled that travelling and waiting time of up to 60 minutes between appointments should be treated as working time, and should be paid accordingly.

The three agencies have now been instructed to pay each employee an average settlement of approximately £10,000. This equates to nine months’ work and annual leave that the businesses failed to pay their staff during this period.

Personnel today reported that Dave Prentis, the general secretary at Unison, stated:

 “This is a major victory for these dedicated workers who dared take on their employers. Their long struggle is nothing short of heroic.

It is time the skills ​and experience of care staff were respected instead of them being underpaid and undervalued. The pandemic has proven just how vital they are in looking after the most vulnerable in society and keeping the care system running.

These are the very same care staff who were applauded during ​the lockdown. They should not have to work in a system that breeds such awful treatment.

This ruling sends a message to other ​care bosses that it’s ​completely unacceptable to pay staff illegal poverty wages. The government too must get tougher ​with employers so there’s an end to these law-breaking practices.”

 


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