Second council vows to eradicate zero hours contracts

Islington council will ensure the providers it commissions to deliver home care pay staff for travel time between appointments

Unison's ethical care charter
Unison's general secretary Dave Prentis poses next to the charter

By Rachel Schraer

Islington council has become the second local authority to formally sign Unison’s ethical care charter, which aims to put an end to poor pay and working conditions in home care services.

Under the charter, the council has agreed to implement the charter’s main principles of getting rid of zero hour contracts, ensuring travel time is counted in employees’ paid hours and implementing the London living wage, as well as setting up occupational sickness schemes.

Islington, alongside Southwark council, has been an early adopter of the recommendations put forward by Unison in the their report into home care.

Published in 2012, the report found that good carers were being lost to “easier jobs that pay more, like in supermarkets” after finding themselves unable to support their family on an inadequate and unreliable salary.

Richard Watts, leader of Islington council, said: “No-one should do a hard day’s work for less than they can live on. Islington council has signed this charter to say we reject poverty wages for home care workers and say yes to guaranteed employment, London living wage and recognition for a job well done.”

Islington home care worker Lorraine Ling said she was “delighted” by the news, pointing out that it would benefit service users, too.

More from Community Care

One Response to Second council vows to eradicate zero hours contracts

  1. Alan December 20, 2013 at 8:57 am #

    Zero hours contracts should be illegal and in my view it is another contravention of the human rights declaration, however they will never be illegal as it would upset too many pals of the coalition. If you want the best from employees it must be shown that they are valued, Z.H. contract only show that employees are there to be used.