Posted: Mon 12th Jun 2017

Welsh Government set to curb zero-hours contracts for care workers

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Jun 12th, 2017

The Welsh Government has unveiled plans to give care workers a fairer deal in a bid to curb zero hour contracts and tackle ‘call clipping’

Under the new proposals, employers will need to offer workers in the domiciliary care sector on zero-hours contracts the choice of moving to a minimum hours contract after three months of continued employment.

Measures are also proposed to tackle ‘call-clipping’ where calls are cut short to travel to the next call

The proposals would require providers of domiciliary care to differentiate clearly between travel time and care time when preparing employees’ schedules while taking into account the distance between visits and rush hour traffic.

The Welsh Government says it is concerned by the high turnover of staff within the domiciliary care workforce and the implications that on the quality of care and support provided.

Social Services Minister, Rebecca Evans, said:

While some staff prefer zero-hours contracts, valuing the flexibility they can offer, for many the uncertainty and insecurity they pose can have a hugely detrimental impact on their lives.

Crucially the plans we are putting out to consultation today will ensure employees have a choice.

After three months of employment, they will be able to choose whether to move onto another zero-hours contract, or take up alternative contractual arrangements.

The proposals I have unveiled today are not only intended to offer staff a fairer deal, but also to safeguard the quality of care and support people receive in their own homes.

Research shows a link between the prevalence of zero-hours contracts and a reduced quality of care, due to issues around the continuity of care and communication between workers and those they support.

Requiring providers to distinguish clearly between travel time and care time when arranging services, will also improve the experience of people needing care.

Doing so will help tackle ‘call-clipping’, ensuring people’s care and support time is not eroded by travel time between visits.

The consultation is available on the Welsh Government’s website and will run for eight weeks, until 7 August 2017.

More infirmation and the consultation found be found here: consultations.gov.wales

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