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To think this is unfair, and quit my job over it

(103 Posts)
mytartanscarf Thu 25-Dec-14 22:35:58

I'll try my best not to drip feed.

Okay - I work in people's homes providing care to them. Most calls are 15 minutes so an average shift has between 12 and 15 people on them. We don't get paid for the time travelling between people's homes. So each 15 min call is less than £2.

Now we have phones to log in and out of peoples homes. We won't get paid if we don't use them but get paid to the minute. So if a 15 minute call is 11 minutes we only get paid for that.

Some people take so long getting to the door that it's 2 minutes 'unpaid' time on top of travel time

Aibu to think this is really unfair?

Pumpkinpositive Thu 25-Dec-14 22:38:23

Can you not start logging from the minute you ring the doorbell?

It sounds shit. thanks Do you think conditions would be better working for another provider?

mytartanscarf Thu 25-Dec-14 22:42:25

No, as we have to sort of put the phone next to a tag which is in the clients home.

It's just so frustrating. It isn't as if we are on a lot of money and have to do a lot of travelling around. And there's never enough time to get from one persons home to another. It just means starting and finishing at silly o'clock OR taking home significantly less and we aren't on much as it is.

Plus, if we break the phone we have to pay for the damage which is fairly likely!

Babyroobs Thu 25-Dec-14 22:42:50

Sounds awful, that possibly works out to less than minimum wage if there is a bit of travelling between Jobs? I would look for something else and as pp says log in when you ring the doorbell.

mytartanscarf Thu 25-Dec-14 22:44:00

It is less than minimum wage.

Logging in when you ring the doorbell isn't an option (if only!)

Pumpkinpositive Thu 25-Dec-14 22:46:37

If it's less than the minimum wage, can you challenge your employer about this?

I think I'd be looking for another job. Wouldn't advise quitting before you find one though. fsad

mytartanscarf Thu 25-Dec-14 22:48:16

Pumpkin it's legal as it's contact time only. It's just that if you have 12 calls and 5 minutes between them that obviously amounts to an hour unpaid - very frustrating.

It really isn't worth my doing it - I'd be spending more on petrol than is be earning!

raltheraffe Thu 25-Dec-14 22:50:25

They are breaking the law. I run a cleaning company and we do offices out of hours. Peninsula Business Services, who are brilliant with employment law advised me that the cleaners' shift did not begin when they swiped inside the office, it begins when they unlock the front gate. So I had to allow them a reasonable amount of time from arriving at the front gate to swiping in and I had to pay them for it.

Do NOT quit, you lose almost all your rights in law if you throw in the towel. Instead look at your contract where it will state the grievance procedure. If it is not stipulated in the contract, you need to request it from the company. Then explain that your job starts when you knock at the door and you wish to be paid for a reasonable period of time between you knocking and swiping the inside tag. You need to raise it as a formal written grievance.

Whereas Peninsula work for business owners, ACAS work for employees. You can phone their helpline and I am sure they will give you good advice. Your employers are breaking the law here.

raltheraffe Thu 25-Dec-14 22:51:46

It is not legal OP, your boss may have told you that but I assure you it is not.

mytartanscarf Thu 25-Dec-14 22:53:05

I'm pretty positive the laws you state aren't applicable in our case as every home care company I know if is the same.

I think things may be changing in the near future though with regard to being paid a fixed hourly rate but this doesn't come into affect until April and I can't afford to work for four months for nothing which is effectively what id be doing!

raltheraffe Thu 25-Dec-14 22:55:42

You really need to check with ACAS, the helpline is local rate charges only. I would kick up a stink about it.

Pumpkinpositive Thu 25-Dec-14 22:56:11

I'm pretty positive the laws you state aren't applicable in our case as every home care company I know if is the same.

They may all very well be taking the piss. It's at least worth finding out.

If you walk out on a job this may impact your ability to claim job seekers whilst you try to find other work.

mytartanscarf Thu 25-Dec-14 22:57:12

I've never claimed job seekers and never will!

raltheraffe Thu 25-Dec-14 22:59:14

The vast majority of cleaning companies take the piss when it comes to employment law. They rely on the fact most cleaners are not particularly aware of what their rights are. I know of cleaning companies which are so big they are household names that totally take the piss out of their workers. Also one major supermarket giant that I am not naming breaks the law when it comes to their cleaning staff.

raltheraffe Thu 25-Dec-14 23:00:29

Don't go on JSA OP, you will probably end up on workfare-Tory bastards.

Elmersnewfriend Thu 25-Dec-14 23:06:10

Ooh, big thing recently (well big in the world of NMW) that travelling time for care workers should be paid time. Let me try and find a link.

slightlyglitterstained Thu 25-Dec-14 23:08:12

I started a thread the other day - the petition linked in it sounds very much like it isn't legal to pay this way, just common:

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/2261716-at-the-stats-in-this-petition-about-care-workers-being-underpaid-and-wonder-if-its-the-end-of-the-minimum-wage

Elmersnewfriend Thu 25-Dec-14 23:09:45

Here you go. This is one link but if you google - care workers national minimum wage travel - you will find others. Your employer is breaking the law. You could ring the NMW whistle blowing line? Your employer wouldn't find out who had done that.

www.walkermorris.co.uk/national-minimum-wage-‘travel-time’-win-home-care-workers

WooWooOwl Thu 25-Dec-14 23:10:24

It is disgusting how badly carers are treated by this country. You are doing such an important job, but your situation is common and it gives me the rage.

sleepingdragon Thu 25-Dec-14 23:11:14

Its not legal, but sadly very common in social care. I think its esitmated that over 200thousand care workers are paid less than minimum wage. There was an HMRC investigation about it last year and ongoing investigations/ discussions in parliament etc. my phone won't let me do any links, but you can google something along the lines of home care low pay commission if you want. It doesn't help you out of your situation in the short term, but hopefully means that things will change at some point in the future.

sleepingdragon Thu 25-Dec-14 23:13:33

I got carried away reading the links I couldn't post and massively cross-posted!

Llareggub Thu 25-Dec-14 23:15:04

Also, if a client pays for 15 minutes they should get 15 minutes, not 11 minutes. The care sector places too much pressure on staff to run from call to call. Care shouldn't attract profit.

mytartanscarf Thu 25-Dec-14 23:17:05

Clients don't always need or want us to stay though. I'll ring that number (thank you!) but am not hopeful sad

I've no intention of going on jsa by the way; I never have.

Elmersnewfriend Thu 25-Dec-14 23:22:51

The sleeping bit is a related case. The one most relevant to you is in the paragraph above - ie the bit saying that travel time between appointments should nearly always be paid.

Give the whistle blowing helpline a ring. They will discuss it with you properly and let you see if there might be a case.

TillyGotTangled Fri 26-Dec-14 01:02:04

The company I work for trialled this recently although pay wasn't affected by the length of time stayed in the home - it was times being actively monitored.

I have been in care from I left school- 4 years of that as a carer in the community- and even I was horrified at how little time some staff stayed in homes - 3-4mins for dozens of 15 minute calls and maybe 10-12mins for 30min or even 45min calls to wash, dress and toilet people. Completely inexcusable to try and claim those tasks and sometimes breakfast as well can be done properly in 10mins.

I'm certainly not suggesting that you do this at all OP but that's what brought it around with us - paying staff up to double the time they were actually spending with clients.

Can I ask though are you time or task orientated? If you stay longer with the service user will you get paid for it?

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