Most councils in England and Wales are failing to ensure home care workers are paid the national minimum wage, figures obtained by the Unison union suggest. It is common practice for carers to be paid for the time they spend in an elderly person’s home, but not for the time they spend in their car travelling between clients. Non-payment of travel time means many are not paid the minimum wage of £6.50 an hour.
Care workers have seen their terms and conditions eroded over recent years and limitations being placed on visit times have all contributed to a serious decline in the quality of home care provision. Unison has been campaigning for all organisations and councils providing home care to sign up to the Ethical Care Charter as the benchmark for the care sector.