Homecare providers may be at risk from NMW penalties
Caring Times, July/August 2014
The United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) has warned that plans to substantially increase penalties for non-compliance with the National Minimum Wage could put homecare businesses at risk.
March this year saw penalties rise from up to £5,000 to up to £20,000 per employer. We understand the Coalition’s proposal is that fines should be calculated by reference to underpaid workers, rather than per employer, as a further deterrent to non-compliance. So those who are found to have underpaid their staff could be liable for fines up to £20,000 per worker, putting non-compliant businesses and jobs at risk.
UKHCA Policy Director, Colin Angel, commented:
”This government is determined to crack down on non-compliance with NMW, but there is a risk that employers who have genuinely misunderstood how NMW applies to their sector will be caught out.
“Work patterns and travel in homecare make calculating National Minimum Wage extremely complicated. UKHCA’s National Minimum Wage Toolkit helps employers ensure they understand their obligations, and are compliant.
“Local authorities must also play their part by recognising the actual costs of care in the prices they pay. Both the Equality and Human Rights Commission and the BBC have uncovered widespread under-resourcing of state-funded homecare. It is vital that council contracts enable care workers to be properly remunerated for the valuable and skilled work they do.”