The Labour Parliamentary candidate for Twickenham, Nick Grant, has backed a UNISON petition calling on Vince Cable to take action to tackle minimum wage abuses affecting care workers.
UNISON’s petition urges Cable, the Lib Dem business secretary, to act to end the scandal of care workers looking after the most vulnerable people in the UK being illegally paid below the national minimum wage of £6.50 an hour.
According to public spending watchdog the National Audit Office, 220,000 care workers are being exploited in this way.
This is in part because whilst the advertised rate may be above the minimum wage, most care workers are on zero hours or temporary agency contracts, with the employers cutting out paid time wherever they can. A full day on the job can translate into only a handful of paid hours.
Cable could make a difference by instructing HM Revenue & Customs to investigate the care sector and name and shame care providers which are failing to pay the minimum wage, but so far he hasn’t.
Nick said: “It is not only time to recognise there is widespread minimum wage avoidance in the care sector but also time to do something about it.
“It involves hundreds of thousands of workers not being paid travel time between home visits and only being paid for 15 minute slots even when they run over. Vince Cable as the minister responsible could ask today for a targeted enforcement blitz of the social care sector.”
To sign the petition, click here.