Change pay and conditions for Care Workers

Change pay and conditions for Care Workers

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Started by Rebecca Brown

As care workers we are often under staffed, over worked (we do it for our clients because we care) and under paid. This seems to be an issue no matter the company.

Regularly I feel as care workers, we experience what I call “care burnout”. We are often pushed and squeezed and guilted by management to work longer and more than we really should, simply to cover calls. Then when we get sick, probably due to the above, management are irritated at us because of the pressure to cover calls.

The worst shift I ever did on an understaffed day, two of us teamed up driving around from call to call from 7am to 10pm covering the work of 4 staff between us. This was back to back calls squeezing in way more clients than we should, mostly by cutting time to get them all in, with no time to stop to even have a break. Some care companies see when you are driving as a rest break, I feel it is not. I feel to put that much on a carer is asking them to work dangerously long hours. The accident risk while travelling increases massively when you are exhausted and we are more susceptible to human error both behind the wheel and whilst caring for clients.

Often in community care, I do not feel we are protected by the same employment rules and protection as that of those who are in a work building. For example, a very grey area is sending carers into a client who smokes. I myself am asthmatic and I now refuse, why should we be asked to compromise our health and yet in a work building or vehicle, smoking is prohibited. I have actually been threatened with disciplinary action for refusing to go into a smoking household by one care company in the past. We don’t get proper rest, sometimes we crawl into bed at 11pm gone and are up at 5.30-6am to go out for a 7am start. In one company I’d finish at 11pm and have to start at 6am, I’d be lucky to get 5 hours sleep.

It was claimed that carers were so important during the pandemic, yet you wouldn’t see that reflected in our pay and conditions. The NHS staff saw all the praise and reward and we were asked to go out, risk getting covid, sometimes caring for those infected and in most companies we are still only paid just above the minimum wage. I worked in one care home doing nights in the past and was paid the minimum wage of £7.20 at that time, no night premium, no nothing, needless to say I did not stay long.

If pay and conditions for care workers were better, maybe the companies wouldn’t be so short staffed all the time and carers would not get fed up and leave.


15 have signed. Let’s get to 25!