Search

Underpaid care workers commissioned by Haringey Council win ‘major’ legal victory in £100k settlement

PUBLISHED: 11:33 17 September 2020 | UPDATED: 13:47 17 September 2020

The homecare workers were each awarded between £850 to £17,000 dated back to 2016. Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA

The homecare workers were each awarded between £850 to £17,000 dated back to 2016. Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA

PA Wire/PA Images

A group of homecare workers employed by contractors commissioned by Haringey Council will receive an average settlement of £10,000 each following an employment tribunal ruling.

The group of 10 homecare workers employed by contractors commissioned by Haringey Council follows a four-year legal battle. Picture: Ken MearsThe group of 10 homecare workers employed by contractors commissioned by Haringey Council follows a four-year legal battle. Picture: Ken Mears

A group of homecare workers employed by contractors commissioned by Haringey Council will receive an average settlement of £10,000 each following an employment tribunal ruling.

The “major victory” for the care workers, which follows a four-year legal battle, involved 10 staff who were paid less than half the £7.20-per-hour minimum wage for looking after elderly and disabled people in their own homes.

The trade union Unison supported the workers in the case against three care providers - Kaamil Education, Diligent Care Services Ltd and Premier Carewaiting.

The three organisations inherited the case when they took over the contract from Sevacare, which ceased operating in Haringey in 2016.

Haringey Council said it was “pleased” at the ruling and that care providers were responsible for meeting all statutory requirements, including the payment of minimum wages.

Cllr Sarah James, Haringey’s health lead, said: “We are committed to ensuring that all home care workers receive fair pay for the valuable work that they do and we are working closely with Unison to ensure the payment of the London Living Wage (LLW) to home care workers in Haringey.

“We have committed £4.4m to the implementation of new contracts that will ensure that every home care worker in Haringey receives the LLW, and are also working to implement the Ethical Care Charter, which we signed in 2017.

You may also want to watch:

“The council will continue to work closely with all current care providers operating in Haringey to ensure that essential home care workers are treated fairly and that we don’t see a recurrence of this historic practice.”

Cllr Luke Cawley-Harrison, the leader of Haringey’s opposition, said: “Either Haringey knew about workers on less than minimum wage and turned a blind eye, or they have absolutely no control of their external contracts.

“A full investigation needs to take place for all contracts to ensure every Haringey worker is paid fairly.”

The ruling is expected to have significant implications for thousands of care staff across the UK who visit vulnerable people in their own homes.

The judgment said travelling and waiting time of up to 60 minutes between appointments should be treated as working time.

Unison’s general secretary Dave Prentis said: “This is a major victory for these dedicated workers who dared take on their employers.

“It’s time the skills and experience of care staff were respected instead of them being underpaid and undervalued.”

A joint statement from Diligent Care Services, Kaamil Education, and Premier Carewaiting said the main issue of non-payment of wages related to when the employees worked for Sevacare, who previously provided services to the local authority.

The three organisations inherited liability for Sevacare’s obligations through a transfer of undertakings.

Additional reporting by the Press Association


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ham&High. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Hampstead Highgate Express