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To want a bit more notice?

(17 Posts)
FudgeyCookie Fri 09-May-14 12:31:29

I started a new job 5-6weeks ago as a community carer, going into people's homes and helping them with either personal care, breakfast/lunch or domestic duties.

I've had a few problems with the company, my hours have gone down dramatically, I wasn't given a number (I have to ring in and ring out at some clients homes) until the last couple of weeks, I have only had 2 lots of training (no first aid or manual handling which I think is quite important!)? I haven't received my contract etc.

On Wednesday, I was having a few problems with something while at a clients home so called to clarify. They asked if I could go on to do a 2 hour domestic after that visit - 10minutes before they wanted the visit to start. I said no as my in laws needed to get back (they were looking after DD, they travel 30-40mins to look after her for us on a Wednesday) for their own business and 10mins notice wasn't sufficient.

Today I have one half an hour visit. At 12pm, I received a call asking me to do the visit they had asked me to do on Friday. I asked what time - dd is only at a childminder until half two, my visit is 1:30 to 2pm. They said now. Again I said no, as that i am not at home/in the town where we live as no one had called me (which apparently they should have done yesterday/this morning!) so I assumed there was no other visits for me apart from this one this afternoon.

Aibu to ask for a little more notice? They were obviously meant to ask me yesterday/this morning about another visit. I love the job but can't keep doing it for much longer with a lot of the problems I have...

FudgeyCookie Fri 09-May-14 12:31:51

Sorry it's so long I didn't want to drop feed!

CuttingOutTheCrap Fri 09-May-14 12:45:53

You should tell them how much notice you need and in very clear terms. I'm surprised this wasn't discussed when you accepted the job, or reflected in your contract (which you could chase up with them too!)

FudgeyCookie Fri 09-May-14 13:39:50

I've chased them up on the contract twice and still not got it. It's not signed yet either as I'm yet to see a copy! Have also spoke to them about notice/my hours twice - once at interview/induction and once last week. Manager said no problem to both of my concerns!

Just recieved my times for the weekend. An hour and a Hal on Sunday, then I have to sit at home until 2 just in case they call. It's not worth working for an hour and a half

PoundingTheStreets Fri 09-May-14 13:40:19

I have to say that no one I know who works in this area has had good experiences of it - even those with nice bosses. In some cases they are working for well below NMW because even with mileage allowance the time spent travelling between calls, for which you are not paid, means the earning divided by the number of hours worked falls below that threshold (though that may only be the case in rural areas).

Which is an extraordinarily unhelpful post, sorry, but you have my sympathies. flowers

agnescrumplebottom Fri 09-May-14 13:58:48

I have been a home carer Fudgey and obviously you cannot name the company but some are better than others.

nannynoss Fri 09-May-14 15:26:23

I worked in this field. For a whole month. That was the longest I could put up with the company. Same as you, I was constantly called to do extra visits with no notice at all. Sometimes asked to do an overnight visit from 7pm when I was on my last call at 6.30pm.
Add to the fact that I wasn't paid travelling expenses or paid for travelling time (or even GIVEN travelling time so expected to be in 2 places at once), and they were incredibly shitty if I couldn't do extra work at a moment's notice, so I left.
It made me really sad actually, as the people I cared for really deserved good care, but they aren't going to get it if the carers aren't treated well.
One time I arrived at a lady's house where the door had been broken down after what we later thought must have been an attempted break-in. A neighbour had secured the door in a fashion but when I arrived the lady was so upset. I rang the office to arrange help for her ASAP so that I could leave her happy but they refused. I said I wouldn't leave her until the door was fixed and they actually said on the phone 'once you have done your 30 minute care for the client, you must leave. It is not your issue to worry about the client outside of these times. Don't spend the rest of the day thinking about her'. How could I not?!? I have a conscience!

FudgeyCookie Fri 09-May-14 19:56:17

nanny I would of done exactly the same. I'm not sureif I get paid past te visit times if I'm still there - for example one client is more .. Not difficult, that's not the word but needs a lot of Encouraging and reassurance due to various reasons. I'm meant to be there for half an hour, but have been there for an hour most visits.

I get 30p a mile which to be honest isn't a lot. By working I'm about £22 a month better off, which won't get me much. The company just seem so disorganised and that's a big bear of mine! The other carer I worked the half hour visit with today rung the office at 1:15pm to tell then she would be late. I run them at 1:40pm, to ask where she was (I had a 15minute drive to get DD from the childminder at 2:30pm) as she wasn't there. They apparently didn't know. Stuff like that winds me up!

I also hate the fact that on Sunday I will work for an hour and a half and then have to sit at home until 2pm just incase they call for a visit. I have got to find another job, or find a business of my own I could start.

agnescrumplebottom Sat 10-May-14 10:09:00

Do you not get an itemised pay sheet Fudgey? You should be paid for the amount of time you are with each client. If every call with that client is going over time, she needs to be reassessed. The trouble is every County has a different policy, it shouldn't be like this at all.

NewNameForSpring Sat 10-May-14 10:23:15

I agree with the others Fudgey. This kind of work is notorious for the appalling conditions. Can you ask about for a company which is recommended by others?

nannynoss Sat 10-May-14 13:36:30

Yes exactly Fudgey. I didn't get paid extra if I was with them longer as they would say that I should be more efficient. I would ring up after some visits that took longer, and constantly say they need a review and need more time. They'd say 'oh I know' but nothing would change.
On my second week in the job, I was assaulted by a client and I rang the office afterwards to say I didn't feel trained enough to be with that client alone again. I would go with another carer or I would want more training before returning. They filed my injuries, said I wouldn't be put with them again and then the client was on my time sheet the following week. When I queried it, they said 'oh we thought you'd feel more experienced by Monday'. Ridiculous.

agnescrumplebottom Sat 10-May-14 14:51:28

In that case it is very dependant on the agency then. The one I worked for had it's faults, but were very good about timings & payment. One man had 2 visits a day allocated by social services, he had a fall and was understandably feeling very shaky. I rang my supervisor and asked if I could go back later and help him to bed ( his calls were morning & mid afternoon, I called her when I was there mid afternoon) I said I was happy to do it in my own time. She said that of course I should do it and she would ring ss . She rang back later and said an extra hour a day had been allocated and we were to let them know if that was enough. She was an excellent supervisor and yes she did try and get us to do extra calls, but when people don't turn up/ phone in sick or run late, what can you do . You can't say "Sorry Mrs X, you'll have to wait this evening to get up as there aren't any staff willing to take the call.
I'm not getting you at all, your experience is very different to mine.

Vintagecakeisstillnice Sat 10-May-14 15:08:10


Do not carry on without having done a manual handling course you are leaving yourself and the clients open to big risk.

I speak as an ex nurse who had to leave ward nursing due to back injuries and that was with following the guidance of the time.

You fuck your back up, that's it.

AND chances are having worked with some shitty agency's before, their insurance normally only covers you IF you have completed training days, usually Manual Handling, Infection Control, Personal Safety.

Get your contract, the last time I worked agency it was in my contract that it was my responsibility to attend these training days even though they hadn't occurred.

agnescrumplebottom Sat 10-May-14 15:18:59

Just to add, I had 4 shadowing days ( more if wanted) 1 week induction course ( covered manual handling, using hoist, slip sheets, basic first aid, writing up care notes, as well as many other things) In the 2 years I was there I went on follow up lifting & handling course, mental health awareness, food hygiene and dementia care.

nannynoss Sat 10-May-14 15:54:19

Agnes it's a shame not all the companies are how you described. That's the kind of service these vulnerable need and deserve.

LuisSuarezTeeth Sat 10-May-14 16:58:24

You're in there without having done manual handling shock

I'm not sure that's even legal!

As others say, it's a common problem with care agencies, particularly those with a large local authority client base. Everyone, including coordinators and managers is overworked and underpaid.

OP keep a note of your travel time - it is actually illegal not to pay you for it. Please tell me you've done meds training?

LuisSuarezTeeth Sat 10-May-14 17:00:21

Feel free to pm me OP - there's certain info I can't put on in case it outs me smile

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