Knowsley Council has pledged its support to introduce UNISON's ethical care charter which will ensure adequate staffing levels and sufficient time for workers to care for vulnerable people.
The charter sets out a series of protections for care workers including payment of the real living wage (currently £8.75 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 also includes a commitment that home care staff should be paid for travel time, expenses, and have opportunities to meet together to avoid isolation.
The Council is developing a new model of working that will require all residential and home care providers to meet these minimum standards.
Councillor Sean Donnelly, cabinet member for Health and Social Care at Knowsley Council said:
"Home care and residential care staff provide a vital and valuable service to some of the most vulnerable residents in Knowsley and we want to ensure that they are recognised for the invaluable work that they do.
"Pledging our support to the Ethical Care Charter is the right thing to do for care workers and for those that they care for. Care workers are best placed to tell us exactly what support the people in their care need and we can improve the quality of our services by listening to them.”
UNISON North West Regional Convenor Paula Barker said:
“We are delighted that Knowsley Council have taken a huge step towards improving working conditions for care workers and in turn, improving the quality of life for the people they look after.
“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. The ethical care charters address these issues by introducing vital minimum standards.
“UNISON North West are leading the way in highlighting the importance of care work and in fighting to win the pay and conditions they deserve. We will continue to work with local authorities across the region to pursue better standards in the sector through our Care Workers for Change Campaign.”