Alan Whitehead, MP for Southampton Test, is calling for care workers to be paid the National Minimum Wage.
It’s estimated that up to 220, 000 homecare workers are illegally paid below the National Minimum Wage (NMW) for their work. Currently many care workers are not paid for the time they spend travelling in between appointments. Illegal pay rates for care workers often plunges them into poverty and fuels high staff turnover rates, which can have a detrimental impact on care standards.
Despite all the evidence on the issue, the Government has failed to take any meaningful action to protect the legal rights of care workers.
Attending a debate on the issue, Alan said:
“Because of our ageing population, the adult social care sector in England will need to add approximately 1 million workers by 2025. Efforts to try and recruit more staff are doomed to fail unless the Government takes a lead in ending the endemic practice of illegal pay in the care sector.
Not only is it outrageous that in the UK, in 2014, people are not being paid the NMW but it is shameful that the government is allowing it to happen. It is also extremely worrying that the evidence suggests that the practice of paying care workers below NMW is undermining care standards.
The government must pledge to end the scandal of illegal low pay. HMRC urgently needs to launch a program of proactive investigations and care providers who do not pay the NMW need to be named and shamed.”