‘Commissioners to blame for low pay’ says UKHCA
Caring Times, October 2013Response to ADASS ‘Minimum wage for care staff: “No excuse for breaking the law”’
The United Kingdom Homecare Association has criticised the Association of Directors of Adult Social services (ADASS) for issuing a media release headed “Minimum wage for care staff: no excuse for breaking the law”.
UKHCA, on behalf of our member organisations, is absolutely clear that homecare workers have an unquestionable legal right to the National Minimum Wage (NMW).
It is essential that homecare workers are adequately rewarded for the vital social care services that they provide to older and disabled people. It is a tragedy that public spending on homecare services, which accounts for the majority of purchase of services from our sector, has become so constrained that independent and voluntary sector providers find it increasingly challenging to maintain even the existing terms and conditions of their workforce.
The responsibility for compliance with NMW Regulations rests with employers. Homecare providers would unanimously support paying workers well above NMW for the essential skills and dedication of their staff.
UKHCA has consistently provided evidence to ministers, government departments, ADASS and arms-length bodies on the worsening conditions imposed in contracts from local authorities (See Note 1) and has provided tools to assist open and transparent costing of homecare services (See Note 2).
UKHCA’s Chair, Mike Padgham, said:
“It is misleading for ADASS to fail to acknowledge the fundamental role that statutory sector commissioning of homecare services has on the terms and conditions of the homecare workforce, and the viability of homecare provider organisations.
“It is unfortunate that ADASS have not acknowledged the responsibility of its members for exploiting their considerable purchasing power to issue tenders for homecare services containing unsustainable maximum prices and terms which frustrate their contractors’ wish to keep ahead of National Minimum Wage.”
UKHCA remains committed to working constructively with ADASS and has today requested they join us for emergency talks about the commissioning of homecare services and maintaining compliance with National Minimum Wage. It is vital that homecare workers’ crucial and sensitive work can be properly rewarded and recognised – and people can continue to be supported to live independently in their own homes.