George demands action on home care workers’ pay
West Cornwall MP, Andrew George, joined his colleagues this week to urge the Government to give better protection to home care workers’ pay and conditions. The MPs have written to Employment Minister Jo Swinson to request a meeting to press the case to ensure all care workers are not paid less than the national minimum wage.
The National Audit Office has stated that up to a quarter of a million (approximately 10%) of care workers are not receiving the minimum wage. Investigations by HMRC between 2011 and 2013 showed that 50% of care providers were not paying their staff the minimum wage. Despite this, HMRC has not conducted any further proactive investigations since 2013.
Mr George is a leading campaigner for improved standards in the home care sector and a member of the Health Select Committee.
Mr George said, “Home care workers are the backbone of our community and social care system. But with budget and cost cutting becoming a priority for Government and local authorities there is a race to the bottom, with front line workers having to suffer most.
“Home care workers do vital work that most of us aren’t prepared to do. They should be paid at least a living wage. As a result of cuts to social care and fewer hospital beds there is a growing pressure for the lowest paid to do more. Zero hours contracts, carers not being paid for travel time, nor reimbursed expenses between clients, and wages docked for uniform all contribute to care workers already earning under the national minimum wage, making their situation intolerable.