Care home workers reveal catalogue of grievances

Employment advisers deal with more grievances about pay, dismissals and working hours from private care home workers than other low-paid staff, a TUC-commissioned survey has found.

The study of “vulnerable workers” found the three issues – all potential employment rights abuses – were the most common gripes encountered by advisers in England and Wales.

And for each issue, over 80% of the 88 advisers surveyed cited private care as an industry where the problem was particularly prevalent – a higher proportion than for any other industry, including cleaning.

Staff from the Citizens Advice Bureau and the Law Centres Federation, national agencies which give free advice, were asked about their dealings with vulnerable workers, defined as “those with low pay, who are non-unionised and insecure”.  

Sector underfunding

The research follows calls from the TUC for the Gangmasters Licensing Authority to cover the care sector.

Ann Mackay, director of policy at the English Community Care Association, said: “Care home providers want to ensure good terms and conditions for employees but are restricted to what can be done depending on income.

“The massive underfunding of the care home sector by public sector commissioners, with real fee decreases at a time when people in care homes have ever-increasing nursing needs, is causing great difficulties.”

More information

TUC Commission on Vulnerable Employment

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