Friday, 29 November 2013

CARE INDUSTRY WORKERS TERMS & CONDITIONS UNDER SCRUTINY AGAIN !

Social care providers flouting minimum wage rules, tax inspectors find

"HMRC has identified £338,835 in backpay owed to 2,443 workers, underpaid by 48% of 183 employers under investigation."
That excellent tomb "The Guardian",   published the following article by house scribe Randeep Ramesh.     It seems, if I've interpreted the information correctly,    that care workers principally involved in domiscillary  care,  may not be being paid what they should be,    ie,   less than the national minimum wage .   It looks like,  if a carer,  who's job it is, is to visit service users in their own home, may get the minimum wage per hour for the "care" aspect of their work, ie whilst they are actually in the home,caring,  but NOT paid as they travel between assignments.   So a carer is required to be at Mrs X between  10am and 11am,   then  at Mrs Y from 11am until 12pm.  Mrs Y lives about a mile and half from Mrs X.   not far, but 10 mins or so, depending on how you travel.
        So our carer has to leave Mrs X 5 minutes early and arrive at Mrs Y's 5 mins late, or,   shave 10 minutes off one or the other,  thus robbing the service user of care time. The employer could not reasonably sanction this of course, so,   they schedule the second call 15 minutes later, at say 11:15 until 12:15,  the third call, say,  12:30 until 1:45  etc  etc.   The problem is,  the employer won't pay the carer for the 15 minutes from one call to the next, so,  after say, 5 calls, the 15 minutes between each call adds up to an hour, which is unpaid.
If you then take the whole shift, paid only at NMW for the worked hours, divide by the "hours" actually "at work",  then it's possible the pay will fall below the minimum wage. If you add to this, some employees unreasonably charging for uniforms or other tools, it reduces the pay further.
         The local councils are saying there is'nt the funding,  but care is not being compromised.
Read the article in this link,  see what you think.
http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/25/hmrc-finds-care-firms-breaching-minimum-wage-laws

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

EMPLOYMENT LAW GONE MAD, AGAIN !!

I absolutely despair !   An Employment tribunal orders a 77 year old widower to pay £3,569
redundancy pay to a carer after his wife died.    Several things very wrong here, what idiot department, first thought up this scheme of direct payments to carers by the less able?  It used to be that if you qualified for care, your local council would allocate one of their employed carers to you. Satisfaction all round,   carer has employment, service user would get good care, and there was a mechanism, a system, in place to make it all work.    Then someone brought in this scheme that absolved the councils from all responsibility.  The money was given directly to the service user, who had then to employ their own carer.    It made them [the service user] an employer, with the same obligations and responsibilities as anyone running a conventional business.   This is a tragic case in point.     This gentleman and his wife used the services of a carer, the wife died, the carers hours were reduced,   this woman,   then sued the old chap for redundancy,   and an employment tribunal upheld her claim!       This is the other thing that is wrong,   not only is there a madcap scheme in place, but the law is structured to support chancers like this woman, to the detriment of decent honest people.   Whichever government we have, we really need to be looking at our domestic systems and policies and concern ourselves less with what is going on abroad!
             Read the full article details by Luke Traynor at the Daily Mirror .......
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/widower-forced-pay-carer-3569-2485617