Almost 5 years on from the Resolution Foundation’s study into the rife underpayment of the National Minimum Wage across the care sector, we still see reports of underpayment of workers across the industry.
What am I legally entitled to?
Legally, all home care workers should be paid for the time spent travelling between care visits. If you are not paid for this, it means your employer is paying you less than the rate stated in your contract. This may also mean you are being paid less than the legal minimum wage.
Working out what you are owed can often be a difficult task, and working out if the hours you have been paid for match what you have worked – both with service users and travelling for your job – can seem daunting.
Understanding this, the great people over at Corporate Watch have created a great tool to help you understand if your employer is paying you what you are owed. With just a few simple bits of info you can understand whether you have been paid correctly for the work you have carried out:
- Estimate how much time you spent travelling
- Using information from your rotas and payslips (your employer is legally obliged to give you copies from the last two years)
- If you have your payslips but not your rotas, you can get an idea of the time spent travelling from the ‘mileage’, or fuel, expenses described on your payslip.
What can I do if I have been underpaid?
The Government unfortunately does little to help Care Workers and to enforce legal minimum wage limits. Coupled with this the care industry is one in which workplaces are less likely to be unionised so it can be difficult for workers in those companies to get together and collectively bring about change.
The IWW however specialises in supporting workers within precarious industries and those who are from marginalised communities. If you and your colleagues are having trouble with your employer we can help members:
- Support them in individual and collective grievance cases against their employers through our network of dedicated casework reps
- To build a strong union branch at their place of work to advocate for the rights of workers
If you are already a member of the IWW and you feel that you are not being paid correctly, please get in touch with your local branch as soon as possible to discuss the problem. If you aren’t a member currently then you can join online here. You can also email us at organising [at] iww [dot] org [dot] uk if you have any questions or want advice on organising your workplace.