24 May 2018
Embargo: 00.01hrs Friday 25 May 2018
Charity’s excessive surveillance is harming care of the vulnerable, says UNISON
National care charity – Community Integrated Care (CIC) – is subjecting its staff to such a degree of surveillance that they are unable to care for vulnerable people properly, says UNISON today (Friday).
CIC employees have expressed concern at the introduction of a new sign-in system, and have started a petition. This hi-tech clock-in machine identifies staff by their fingerprints and photographs them each time they sign in or out.
Staff who work through the night are required to sign in every hour, which they say can interrupt them attending to people in their care.
Workers have not been asked for consent for their biometric data to be used by CIC, and have not been advised why they need to be repeatedly photographed, says UNISON.
UNISON assistant general secretary Christina McAnea said: “In the week that the new General Data Protection Regulation comes into force, there’s real concerns that CIC is already breaking all the rules.
“CIC has neither asked for, nor received consent, for anyone’s biometric data to be used, and staff are worried this could be the thin end of the wedge.
“For residential care staff, the requirement to sign in every hour makes it hard for them to get on with their job. Staff want to be able to respond to the needs of the people they care for, not the requirements of a machine. CIC should have more trust in their employees and allow them get on with their work.”
Notes to editors
CIC is a national care charity that operates in England and Scotland, employing more than 4,000 staff. As well as care homes, CIC provides community supported living, and respite care services for elderly people and people with learning difficulties. It began implementing the new system which is called Maxtime three months ago and it’s now being implemented in the majority of its workplaces.