In 2012, UNISON wrote a report on the state of the homecare sector. The homecare system is in a state of crisis where the poor treatment of the workforce is having a detrimental impact on the levels of care they are able to provided to elderly and disabled people in their own homes.
Homecare workers are routinely given insufficient amounts of time to care for people, often receive substandard levels of training and are often employed on zero hour contracts. There are also endemic levels of low pay which lead to many homecare workers being unable to afford to continue to do the job. Furthermore the fact that many homecare workers are not paid for the time they spend travelling between jobs means that is estimated that between 150-200,000 homecare workers are routinely paid less than the national minimum wage. It is sadly no coincidence that the workforce is overwhelmingly female and in many cities has a large number of BME workers.
UNISON believes that for too long councils have overseen a decline in the standards of homecare and the treatment of the workforce. UNISON is campaigning for councils in England, Wales and Scotland to adopt its Ethical Care Charter which is a system of standards which will improve matters for both the people receiving care and for those providing it and will stop this race to the bottom.
If adopted it will mean no more 15 minute visits, improved levels of training for the workforce, continuity of care, no more zero hour contracts, payment for travel time and at least a living wage. It will draw a line in the sand and help to stop this truly shameful decline in how people receiving care are treated and how the workers that provide it are treated.
Click here for link to Charter
Click here for link to report ‘Time to care. A UNISON report into homecare’