Protecting Haringey home care workers with new charter

Care workers in the London borough of Haringey are to be given the time and support they need to do their work, through a new ethical charter.

Haringey Council has signed up to UNISON’s ethical care charter, which sets out a series of commitments to protect the rights of home care workers’ and give them greater freedom to focus on the needs of the people they care for.

Under the charter, Haringey is committed to replacing zero hours contracts with guaranteed hours, and to make full payment for travel time between home care visits.

The new code means the commissioning of home care visits will always be shaped by what is best for the person being cared for and the care worker, not by the need to meet a certain quota of visits or complete care duties in a set timeframe.

Haringey Council cabinet member for finance and adult services Councillor Jason Arthur said: “I’m proud to have signed UNISON’s ethical care charter. We’re committed to ensuring that Haringey’s residents get the best possible care, and to making sure that those who choose to devote their working lives to caring for some of the most vulnerable people in our communities get the right professional support to do so.

“Haringey has a proud tradition of union support and we are committed to protecting the rights of our residents, and of those who work on behalf of the borough.”

UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “Making this commitment to decent employment conditions for care workers is vital for improving the quality of life for the people they look after.

“UNISON’s ethical care charter is leading the way in highlighting the importance of care work and in fighting to win the pay and conditions they deserve.”

UNISON’s ethical care charter has three key elements covering visits, quality of care and pay. It includes abolishing time limits on homecare visits, giving care workers the freedom to provide appropriate care and spend sufficient time talking to clients and paying care workers for travel time and expenses. It also covers giving vulnerable people the same home care worker wherever possible, providing home care workers with training opportunities, paying the London living wage (currently £9.75 per hour), and giving home care workers sick pay.

Notes to editors:
– The charter is broken down into 12 pledges. Haringey is already meeting, or has committed to meet by the end of the financial year (April 2018), 11 of those pledges and is exploring how best to ensure that all care workers can receive the London living wage in future.
– The Charter signing will take place later today (Thursday) at Haringey Civic Centre, Wood Green. There will be a photo opportunity at 11am outside the Civic Centre with UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis, Haringey Council cabinet member for finance and adult services Councillor Jason Arthur, and a number of Haringey care workers.

Media contacts:
Sally Lowe (Haringey Council) T. 020 8489 4584 E.
Liz Chinchen (UNISON) T: 0207 121 5463 M: 07778 158175 E: