Exploitation of care workers must end, says UNISON

Labour’s move to close legal loophole is welcome

care wCommenting on the Labour Party’s call today (Thursday) to make Parliamentary time available to consider a bill that would ensure care workers are paid at least the minimum wage, UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said:

“It’s a national scandal that care workers continue to receive less than the minimum wage. Frontline workers are being exploited and ministers must make time to deal with this immediately.

“Ending the unscrupulous practices that blight the care sector cannot come soon enough. This includes not only action on low pay, but the use of zero-hours contracts and inadequate sick pay.

“Labour is right to highlight last year’s important legal victory for homecare workers, backed by UNISON, which found they should be paid for travel time between care visits.

“The government also needs to be ambitious about desperately needed reform of the sector. Not just remedying the shocking pay and conditions but creating a world-class national care service of which we can all be proud.”

Notes to editors:
– In September 2020, a tribunal ruled that contractors commissioned by Haringey Council in North London breached wage rules by paying some care staff less than half the minimum wage.
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union, with more than 1.3 million members providing public services in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.

Media contacts:
Anthony Barnes M: 07834 864794 E: a.barnes@unison.co.uk
Siobhan Cooley M: 07432 549183 E: s.cooley@unison.co.uk