Hartlepool has become the latest council to commit to UNISON’s Ethical Care Charter, meaning it will work with the town’s care companies, helping them replace zero-hours contracts with guaranteed hours – and reflect travel time between home care visits in care workers’ pay.
Signing up to the charter means the council has also pledged to help the providers it commissions move towards paying the living wage (currently £8.45 an hour) to all their employees.
UNISON’s charter also commits councils to moving away from 15-minute care visits and to help ensure that those needing care see the same care workers regularly, benefitting both the staff and the people they care for.
The charter is part of the union’s Save Care Now campaign, which aims “to raise the voices of homecare workers and improve the homecare sector”.
“Ensuring fair employment conditions across the care sector is essential if they are to improve the quality of life of the people they look after,” UNISON Northern regional secretary Clare Williams said at the signing ceremony with the council.
“UNISON’s Ethical Care Charter highlights the key role care workers play in society, by fighting to secure the pay and working conditions they deserve.”
Council leader Christopher Akers-Belcher said that signing the charter shows “the council’s commitment to its workforce and the value placed on their working conditions.
“They truly are the cornerstone of our success and I am very proud of the rich mix of talent and expertise our staff possess.”
Pictured at the signing ceremony are (left to right) Hartlepool UNISON branch secretary Edwin Jeffries, regional secretary Clare Williams, Hartlepool adult services committee chair Cllr Stephen Thomas and Jill Harrison, director of adult and community based services.