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at the stats in this petition about care workers being underpaid and wonder if it's the end of the minimum wage?

(8 Posts)
slightlyglitterstained Thu 18-Dec-14 08:41:41

From the petition:
In 2011 and 2013 HMRC investigated the care sector and found that only half of care providers were paying the national minimum wage. Thanks to their investigation several companies were forced to pay care workers the money that they were legally owed.

Now, because of the ongoing cuts to care budgets and a lack of follow up action from HMRC the situation has become worse and now 220,000 care workers across the UK are being illegally paid.

https://campaign.goingtowork.org.uk/petitions/catch-the-criminal-care-employers-end-the-scandal-of-illegally-paid-care-workers

Surely underpayment on this scale is essentially equivalent to the care sector unilaterally deciding that, fuck the law, they're just going to ignore the minimum wage? And if they can get away with it, then how many other employers will start thinking they can too?

LuisSuarezTeeth Thu 18-Dec-14 08:49:58

This is a scandal that needs maximum exposure. Thanks for sharing the petition!

Hmrc already act on care workers reporting their employer, but zero hours contracts mean the workers are afraid to do so for fear of losing hours.

SaucyJack Thu 18-Dec-14 08:54:33

Are they home care workers? They're in a particular situation pay-wise, which is how they end up being paid under the minimum wage despite the fact that the hourly rate is above NMW.

Home care workers are only paid for the time they spend in someone house- this does NOT include travelling time between "calls" or spaces in the rota. So they could (and do) go out for a six hour shift, but only be paid for three hours or whatevs of it.

SaucyJack Thu 18-Dec-14 08:55:50

Should add- the conclusion of this being that YABU. Somewhere like Tesco where your working shift begins and ends when you clock on/off couldn't get away with it.

LuisSuarezTeeth Thu 18-Dec-14 09:07:47

Exactly Saucy. As a home carer I was earning £5.25 an hour and successfully claimed through hmrc. Most carers don't though - the advice I was given by my manager was to "not talk about it".

slightlyglitterstained Thu 18-Dec-14 09:08:03

SaucyJack - the petition says:

One way employers under-pay home care workers is by only paying them for the time they spend caring for people in their own homes. This means the time they spend traveling between visits is unpaid.

So yes, looks like it's home care workers. If this has been investigated before, then it sounds like that might be considered illegal by HMRC? Not sure from the petition alone.

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Thu 18-Dec-14 10:11:50

SaucyJack: you'd be amazed at what Tesco get away with.

LuisSuarezTeeth Thu 18-Dec-14 20:55:23

It has been investigated before, on a wider scale. Home care workers need to be looked at very specifically, due to the nonpayment of travel time, mileage and expenses not being covered. Basically, if you're out on a shift and you clock up 2 hours per day of travelling time, that equates to 10 hours a week. Add that to your normal hours and you come out with less than minimum wage.

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