Why is the government rewarding social care companies that DON’T PAY their carers?

[Image: MTSOfan via photopin cc.]

The minority Conservative government has announced an amnesty for care companies who have not paid carers properly for sleep-in shifts.

The offending companies will not be fined, nor will they be made to pay the arrears they owe their employees, after the care firms whined that they could not afford to pay up.

In other words, the government is telling carers the work they do at night is worthless.

The simple fact is, if these companies can’t afford to pay their workforce, they shouldn’t be applying for contracts to carry out the work.

As a person who receives the pittance known as Carers Allowance for the work I do looking after Mrs Mike, This Writer is particularly incensed that people who devote their careers to this thankless work are being treated like slaves.

A press release from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy states: “The government… has temporarily suspended enforcement activity and is waiving historic financial penalties against employers concerning sleep-in shift pay in the social care sector.

“The government has worked closely with the sector in response to concerns over the combined impact which financial penalties and arrears of wages could have on the stability and long-term viability of providers.

“The exceptional measures announced today are intended to minimise disruption to the sector by recognising these unique pressures, and helping ensure that workers receive wages they are owed.”

How does that work? The government is waiving historic financial penalties against employers who have underpaid their workers for overnight sleep-in shifts before July 26, and is suspending enforcement of payments to the same people until October 2! Some will be thousands of pounds out-of-pocket.

“Social care providers play a vital role in supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our society and workers in that sector should be paid fairly for the important work they do.”

Fine words from an administration that has just snatched huge amounts of cash out of their hands.

“The government remains equally committed to making sure workers in this sector receive the minimum wage they are legally entitled to, including historic arrears.”

Where can we see any sign of that commitment?

“The long-term stability and success of the social care sector is a priority and the government has already allocated an extra £2 billion of funding to the sector, including an extra £1 billion this year.”

Who is getting this money if it isn’t being paid to the people doing the actual work?


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9 thoughts on “Why is the government rewarding social care companies that DON’T PAY their carers?

  1. dsbacon2017

    Could it be that these firms are actually keeping money which should be paid to carers
    for themselves and their shareholders? I don’t suppose, because they are so disparate and individually isolated, that carers are unionised: easy pickings for the unscrupulous.

  2. Brian

    With the timely and welcome reversal of the employment tribunal fee abolition, perhaps a few judgement’s against this unfair withholding of historical entitlements will persuade the Tories to pay this money rightfully owed.

  3. Christine Cullen

    Surely unions are an answer here. They have the resources to take employers to court and win as we have seen recently. Can these unpaid people not join an appropriate union and see the government and/or employers in court?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      It seems very few social care providers recognise unions, and the carers themselves are contractually barred from going to the press!
      Someone has been in touch with me, though, and there will be a new article today.

  4. Dez

    They have done this back stabbying because of lobbying by the industry who threaten to move away from the sector because there is no Porche money to be made from this labour intensive industry. The local authorities screw them to take authority patients at par or below profit margins and then load those poor sods who still have some capital left above the min savings level and worse if they survive for any length of time. Losing countless homes either for substandard conditions or the owners want out. Maybe if the Government thought about reinstating state owned homes where at least some quality control could be maintained then the profit margin could be parked up and reduced to covering costs.

  5. Jim

    This affects a friend of mine who works at an adult care facility.
    The previous situation was the person would get paid only £20 for a sleep-in. Often 10pm till 8/10am. Now it has to be paid at the minimum wage. A huge increase for the workers. None of them have yet been paid it of course.
    But, what’s happening now is the companies running these places are trying to get agreement from those reasonable for all the adults in the facilities, to agree to only have someone on call and not actually in the building. That way the company can go back to paying £20 a night for being on call.
    If one of the adults needs care at night, they are looking to move them elsewhere.

    One thing I’ve never got about this situation. It must of been the Conservative government that made this change. They must have known this was going to happen. But, then again, they all seem to be incompetent so maybe not.

  6. Jenny Hambidge

    Totally agree with post , Mike. However the picture has come to symbolise the dependency and infantilising of disabled and elderly people. Any article one reads about social care seems to be accompanied by a picture of old hands often held by young hands, evoking pity and sympathy. WE don;t want either! We want to have our human rights and dignity respected and allies like yourself to help us fight for them! We ae are so often portrayed as a problem to be solved, a burden. I am now officially old, officially disabled but I don’t need my hand held as if I were a child. Images are important, they stick in the mind.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      What kind of image would you prefer? Bear in mind that only a limited selection is available to me.

Comments are closed.