The Council has pledged its support to introduce charters that will ensure adequate staffing levels and sufficient time for workers to care for vulnerable people.
Manchester City Council has signed UNISON’s ethical care charters, and is working towards a new model of working, that will require all residential and home care providers to meet these minimum standards.
The charters set out a series of protections for care workers including payment of the real living wage (currently £8.45 per hour), no use of zero hours contracts, occupational sick pay, regular free training, and a clear and accountable process for staff to raise any concerns.
The ethical care charter for home care includes a commitment that staff should be paid for travel time, expenses, and have opportunities to meet together to avoid isolation. The residential care charter requires payments for staff who work unsocial hours and sleep-ins.
Councillor Bev Craig, executive member for Adult Services, Health and Wellbeing at Manchester City Council said:
"Home care and residential care staff provide a vital and valuable service to some of the most vulnerable residents in Manchester and we want to ensure that they are recognised for the invaluable work that they do alongside improving the quality of care for Manchester citizens.
"Manchester City Council already pays the Manchester Living wage (set at the real living wage) and has committed to look to paying this for commissioned services.
"Pledging our support to the Ethical Care Charter is the first step in this journey, along with commissioning models to see improved standards and working conditions for care staff, as we work in partnership with our health colleagues to make significant improvements."
UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said:
“Making this commitment to decent employment conditions for care workers is vital for improving the quality of life for the people they look after.
“UNISON’s ethical care charters are leading the way in highlighting the importance of care work and in fighting to win the pay and conditions they deserve.
“The charters set out minimum employment standards that will end the bad practices that we too-often see in social care. Care staff should not be having to dash around between service users without the time to care. They should not be on poverty pay or having to work when they are ill. They should not be isolated and they should not be afraid to raise concerns about services with their employer.
“Manchester is to be applauded for being the first council in Greater Manchester to sign up to the UNISON charters. UNISON will continue to work with all ten authorities in the city-region to pursue better standards in the sector through the Care Workers for Change Campaign.”