MSP demands national debate on social care in Scotland after survey exposes poor conditions for staff

Unison’s survey found half of Scotland’s home care workers are not paid for their travel time

Care worker driving between appointments
Many care workers are not paid for their travel time (Credit: Zazou/Rex, posed by model)

A Labour MSP has called for a national debate on social care after a survey by Unison found one in 10 home care workers north of the border is on a zero hours contract.

Neil Findlay tabled a motion last week suggesting a debate was needed in order to improve the pay, training and standards of care workers in Scotland.

He also asked the Scottish Parliament to note the results of Unison’s staff survey, It’s time to care, which revealed half of the country’s home care workers are not paid for the time they spend travelling between clients.

Unison wants the Scottish Government to introduce a means whereby all care providers would have to pay the Scottish living wage, improve training, stop abusing zero hours contracts and ensure care workers have enough time per visit to deliver high-quality care.

Dave Watson, Unison Scotland’s head of bargaining and campaigns, said: “This report gives staff at the frontline of care delivery the chance to tell their story about care in Scotland and it doesn’t make comfortable reading.

“It should be a wakeup call for the Scottish Government and commissioning bodies to take action to end the race to the bottom in care provision.”

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