Carers having to sign away back pay or risk sack, GMB Congress hears

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Hampshire County Council asking workers to waive claim to tens of thousands of pounds

GMB Congress was today told by a Hampshire care worker of a situation where he is being asked to sign away rights to claim backpay owed or risk losing his job.

Alain Oliver, who is employed by Hampshire County Council through their Shared Lives programme, told delegates in Bournemouth he and his colleagues risk losing thousands in unpaid wages.

Shared Lives is a similar system to foster caring, where the workers look after disabled adults in their own home.

Due to service users having been incorrectly banded by care requirements, workers are owed up to £15 a day, some going back over a decade.

Alain Oliver, GMB member said:

“Some Shared Lives carers’ wages work out as £1.83 per hour, which was the sort of pay that was the going rate in 1982.

“I don’t think it’s too much to ask that the local council pay us properly for the work we do, sometimes 24 hours a day and with no separation between our work lives and home lives.

“My employer is trying to make me sign a new contract, which would waive my rights to any back pay due to their incorrectly banding service users, including one under my care.

“This would mean somewhere in the region of £50,000 for me, which I would have to forego or risk losing my job.”