[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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