Mencap to pay care workers minimum wage for sleep-ins

Mencap has agreed to pay care workers above the national minimum wage for sleep-ins, following a successful campaign by UNISON.

The charity has been in dispute with UNISON over its failure to pay care staff the minimum wage when providing on-call night care.

Some carers had previously been paid a flat rate of £25 for a nine-hour sleep-in shift – which works out at just £2.80 an hour. Staff will now be paid an average of £7.50 per hour for every sleep-in they work from April 2017 onwards.

The changes follow representation by UNISON on behalf of Mencap staff in January 2017.

UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “It’s welcome that Mencap are now fulfilling their legal obligation to their employees and paying staff what they’re owed.

“Care workers who provide round-the-clock care for the elderly and disabled should be paid at least the legal minimum.

“But more must still be done to ensure pay laws are properly enforced in social care.”

Notes to editors:
– Carers working sleep-in shifts spend the night at either a care home or the home of someone requiring care.
– They are permitted to sleep during these shifts but must respond to issues as they occur and are obliged to stay on the premises at all times.
– Mencap has appealed an Employment Tribunal case taken by UNISON relating to back pay for care staff undertaking sleep-ins. The appeal date has not yet been set.
– UNISON is a prominent campaigner in the care sector for fair payment for sleep-in shifts and has won a number of tribunal cases on this issue.

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