220,000 carers underpaid

29 October 2014

Figures released by Unison have shown that only 6% of local councils make it a contractual condition for care workers to be paid for their travel to and from work.

With the average carer’s travel equating to 30% of their overall shift, non payment of travel expenses means many carers will receive less than the national minimum wage of £6.50 an hour.

The care sector is under increasing pressure to re-evaluate carer’s wages. In early 2014 the National Audit Office reported that up to 220,000 carers were receiving less than minimum wage. In one case a provider was ordered to pay £600,000 to 3,000 care workers.

However the UK Home Care Association is adamant that they account for travel costs when deciding on a carer’s wage. They also believe that if carer’s wages were to rise many providers would find it “difficult” to comply.

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