Posted: Sun 21st Mar 2021

Union calls for Welsh government to step in and ‘protect care workers’ after minimum wage Supreme Court ruling

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Sunday, Mar 21st, 2021

A public services trade union has described Friday’s Supreme Court ruling that social care staff are not entitled to the national minimum wage for every hour they work, including sleep-in shifts,​ as a major blow and it has called for the Welsh government to step in and protect care workers.

UNISON Cymru Wales says thousands of mainly female, low-paid care workers here will be bitterly disappointed at the judgement and there is an onus on Welsh ministers to urgently guarantee all care workers will be paid the national minimum wage for sleep-in shifts.

UNISON says Welsh government should follow the example of the Scottish government, which has guaranteed the national minimum wage for sleep-in shifts since 2018.

The trade union is campaigning for a National Care Service for Wales to lift care workers out of in-work poverty and boost the quality of care for patients and their families.

Mark Turner, UNISON lead officer for social care said: “Care workers are poorly paid and the Supreme Court’s sleep-in judgement will be very difficult for them to take.

“People clapped for them during the pandemic, appreciating the value of their work but this ruling illustrates once again carers are paid as little as possible.

“Thousands of low-paid female carers in Wales could be helped if the Welsh government stepped in to ensure the national minimum wage will be paid for sleep-in shifts.

“There is a desperate need a National Care Service for Wales which would set fair wages and employment conditions for care workers across the country. Care workers need respect and just reward for their work.”

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