At Workline we get a lot of queries from Care Workers who are unsure of their rights, and with Healthcare Providers in the news lately as they run out of money, we felt it was time to summarise your rights!  Updated for 2014.

See our Guide to Zero Hours Contracts here.

The profile of the UK’s Social Care Workforce (data 2009/2011) is:

  • 70% of social care staff work in the private or voluntary sector (not for local councils or the NHS).
  • Care is provided by 35,000 different Employers – in people’s own homes, care homes, day care, hospitals, etc.
  • There are more than 1.75 million care workers in the UK and 83% of them are female.
  • Only one in four unqualified care workers is a member of a trade union and the workforce is badly paid with 9% of staff earning less than the minimum wage.

The queries we get at Workline are mostly concerns about Pay, Working hours, Rest breaks and Holidays and are usually from individuals who:

  • Provide care during the day at a clients house/care home and/or
  • Provide care overnight by sleeping at the clients house or care home and who may be called on at any time during the night.
  • Are ‘on-call’ at their own home and who may be summoned to work at any time.
  • ‘Live in’ at the clients house for a period of time, providing a variety of services, some of which are during ‘on-call’ periods.

In these circumstances it is often difficult to establish what hours they should be paid for and what rest breaks they should have.

See our new article about Portable Criminal Records Checks – effective from 17th June 2013.

See our Guide to Languages at work.

For information about employing personal carers in your own home, Acas have a useful FAQ section here.

Please note that the advice given on this website and by our Advisors is guidance only and cannot be taken as an authoritative interpretation of the law. It can also not be seen as specific advice for individual cases. We would advise you, if you are unsure of your rights, to join an appropriate Union or consult a legal advisory service/solicitor.

So, in detail, the information you need to know about:

Pay – The Minimum Wage

Anyone who is defined as a ‘Worker (including Employees and Agency Workers) is entitled to the minimum wage (NMW), regardless of whether they have a written contract or not.  For more details about Zero-Hours contracts see our new Guide here.

There are different minimum wage rates for different age groups of workers – see our main NMW Guide for details.

The National Minimum wage must be paid for all the time when you are:

  • At work when required to be working (even if work is not possible)
  • Travelling on business during normal working hours – you should be paid for all travel time in connection with your job (not from your home to work) including travelling time from one assignment/client, except if you are on a rest break.  This includes time waiting to meet someone in connection with your work.  If you need information on mileage allowances then please look at the HMRC website here.  If you are paid less than the tax-free mileage amount, you are entitled to Mileage Allowance Relief. This means that if your employer pays you less than the maximum rate per mile for work journeys, you will be entitled to additional tax relief.  You can fill in form P87 ‘Tax relief for expenses of employment’ which is on this link.
  • Training (or travelling to training) during your normal working hours
  • On rest breaks, lunch breaks, holidays, sick leave or maternity leave, where these form part of your minimum hours under your contract of employment.

It must also be paid for all the time when you are on standby or on call time at your place of work.  However, here it gets complicated regarding ‘sleeping time’:

  • If you are employed on ‘time work’ (you are paid an hourly rate in relation to the time you work and your hours may vary) – Government guidance says that you should receive the NMW for all the time when you are at work and awake for the purpose of working during ‘sleeping time’ (by arrangement with your Employer, you sleep at or near your place of work and you are provided with  suitable facilities for you to do so).  At the end of December 2013, an important case Whittlestone v BJP Home Support Ltd confirmed that employees who are engaged on ‘time work’ who are required to ‘sleep over’ at a specified location as part of their work are entitled to be paid the NMW for all those hours, regardless of whether their sleep was interrupted by work or not – details are available in our new Guide here.
  • If you are employed on ‘salaried work’ (you are paid an annual salary – in equal installments – for set hours but your hours may vary) – you should receive the NMW for all the time when you are at work and when you are awake for the purpose of working during ‘sleeping time’ (definition as above).
  • If you are employed in ‘unmeasured work’, so you work when required to work and there are no specified hours, carrying out contractual duties for a flat rate, e.g. a home carer who lives and works in a clients home before having a break and receives a one-off, flat rate payment. Determining for what hours you should receive the NMW is difficult unless you are employed on a ‘daily average hours agreement’, which is an agreement in writing between a worker and an employer which determines the average daily number of  hours the worker is likely to spend on their duties – and for these hours the NMW should be paid. Workers who have entered into a ‘daily hours agreement’ do not have to be paid the minimum wage for each hour worked, but they must be paid the minimum wage, on average, for the time worked in their pay ‘reference’ period.  This ‘reference’ period is the period of time a worker’s wage is actually calculated, e.g. on a weekly or monthly basis, but cannot be longer than one calendar month.  Alternatively, where a worker has not entered into a ‘daily hours agreement’ but is employed in unmeasured work, their employer must record the hours they work during the pay reference period, and pay them for every hour worked.
  • Agency Workers and HomeWorkers are expressly covered by the NMW Regulations.

N.B. Please note that the law relating to whether the NMW needs to be paid during ‘sleeping’ time whilst on-call and not working is complex  and case law is changing constantly.  Therefore please do not rely on our advice for your individual circumstances; it is guidance only and cannot be taken as an authoritative interpretation of the law.  In 2012 an important case at the Employment Appeals Tribunal confirmed what previous case law had described – that during a sleeping night-shift, only the hours spent awake and working will count towards a workers National Minimum Wage – details are here.  However, at the end of 2013, an important case Whittlestone v BJP Home Support Ltd confirmed that employees who are engaged on ‘time work’ who are required to ‘sleep over’ at a specified location as part of their work are entitled to be paid the NMW for all those hours, regardless of whether their sleep was interrupted by work or not – details are available in our new Guide here.

At Summer 2014 there now appears to be 4 types of working arrangements involving sleeping that tribunals have identified (but this is always subject to change!):

  • Where the worker is able to sleep and is not working at all – nothing counts as working (examples – a driver required to stay in overnight accommodation from the end of one job to the start of the next; a pub manager required to live on the pub premises for security purposes but who is free to come and go at any time)
  • Where the worker physically needs to be on the premises but may sleep if there is nothing to do – all hours count as working time (examples – a night watchman required to be on the employer’s premises during specified night hours; a care home worker who presence is required to comply with regulations)
  • Where the sleep-over is part of the core duties, all hours on the premises count as working time (examples – a care worker who has worked 2 shifts of equal length – one in the day and one in the night when they could sleep; a Care Home Manager with a rent-free apartment on site is required to provide 24 hours a day on site cover)
  • Where the worker is on-call, only hours the worker is awake for the purpose of working counts as working time (examples – housekeepers in sheltered accommodation whose contracts require on-call time outside core hours).

Generally, a sleep-in is a night shift where you sleep at the workplace, so you are available to support people during the night. A waking night shift means you must stay there overnight and work as you would during the day, so there is usually no ability to sleep.

There is also the following exception to a worker being entitled to the NMW. A worker who lives in their Employer’s home and shares in the household chores and leisure activities may not be entitled to the NMW if they are living with and being treated as part of the family. It is debatable whether Carers would fall into this category.

The National Minimum wage does not need to be paid for time when you are:

  • Being paid less than your normal pay, e.g. if you get half pay while on sick leave.
  • On any unpaid leave your Employer allows you to take.
  • On-call at home or at another location, but not at work and not working.
  • Travelling between work/appointments and home.

For information if your Employer declares short-time working, please click here.

The pay that should be taken into account when calculating your average hourly rate of pay is:

  • your total gross pay (basic salary, any bonus or commission or incentive payments).
  • certain ‘benefits in kind’ can be taken into account, this includes where your Employer provides you with accommodation.  The NMW may be ‘offset’ by some of your accommodations value.  From 1st October 2014 this is  £4.91 per day.  For more details about how this works please see the Direct Gov page here.
  • Salary sacrifice schemes (e.g. childcare vouchers) are excluded from the calculation.
  • Repayment of expenses are not included.
  • Expenses for travel to a temporary workplace are not included.

However, any premiums that are paid for overtime or shift work or on-call/sleep-in shifts does generally NOT count towards calculating your salary for the NMW and meals, fuel or car allowances/lease car costs do not count towards the NMW calculation.

The Government run a Pay and Work Rights Helpline which can advise you about the NMW – on 0800 917 2368 – they also deal with complaints from workers who are being paid below the threshold.

Your Employer must keep records that show they have paid the NMW for 3 years, and you have the right to inspect these records if you have reasonable grounds to believe you have not been paid the NMW; you may complain to an Employment Tribunal if you are not allowed to see these records.

Workers also have a right not to be subjected to any detriment caused by an act of their Employer because the worker had taken action to enforce their statutory right to be paid the NMW.

The National Minimum Wage Regulations are enforced by the HMRC who have compliance and enforcement officers and can prosecute Employers for not abiding by the NMW.  Enforcement can be initiated either by a complaint by a worker or a 3rd party or where the HMRC is targeting a low-paying sector.  Care Providers are such a sector.  HMRC Compliance officers can carry out inspections at any time without reason.  Currently the maximum financial penalty that can be given to an Employer is £20,000, however since 25th June 2014 the maximum penalty of £20,000 will apply on a per-worker basis rather than one fine for one Employer.  Employers can also be prosecuted in the criminal courts.  The potential penalties for Care Sector Employers who fail to pay the NMW will soon become greater (more details here).  In the draft statutory guidance to the Care Act 2014, in June 2014, the Government said that “When commissioning care contracts, local authorities should assure themselves and have evidence that service providers deliver services through staff who are remunerated so as to retain an effective workforce.  Remuneration should be at least sufficient to comply with the NMW legislation…. including remuneration for any time spent travelling between appointments”.

 

 

Rest Periods and Rest Breaks

The Working Time Regulations entitle all (with a few exceptions – see below) Workers and Employees to:

  • A minimum Daily Rest Period of 11 hours uninterrupted rest between finishing your job and starting the next day.
  • A Weekly Rest Period of 24 hours uninterrupted rest within each seven day period; or at the Employer’s choice a Fortnightly Rest Period of 48 consecutive hours within each 14 day period.
  • The weekly rest period should not include any part of the daily rest period.
  • A break of 20 minutes if your daily working day is more than 6 hours long.
  • If you are an Agency Temp then the Employer you are working for (not the Agency who employs you) is responsible for you receiving these minimum rest breaks.
  • The first 2 type of rest periods are generally unpaid.  The 20 minute break may be paid or unpaid, depending on what it says in your contract of employment.  For more information on rest breaks please see the Direct Gov website here.

(See our Guide to Zero Hours Contracts here).

* Certain ‘special case’ workers are exempt from these rest break provisions and can be legitimately asked to work through their rest-breaks if

  • You are a shift worker who may not be able to take your daily or weekly rest periods between shifts. Shift Workers are defined as those engaged in activities involving periods of work that are split up over the day and those who work according to a certain shift pattern where workers ‘succeed’ each other at the same workstations. The shift pattern may be continuous or discontinuous but will involve the need for workers to work at different times over a given period of days or weeks.
  • There is a genuine need for continuity of production/ service around the clock, eg. hospitals, residential institutions, care workers. This exemption is likely to apply to some care workers.
  • Where the work takes place in different places distant from each other, where it is difficult to set a work pattern.  Care Workers who are required to travel to different appointments during their working day may fall into this exemption.
  • The work is affected by unusual or unforeseeable circumstances beyond anyone’s control, or where work is affected by an accident or risk of an accident.
  • There is a Collective or Workforce Agreement in place that excludes these obligations – but the worker must have been fully consulted with to ensure these are valid.  There are detailed rules relating to these agreements and advice should be sought before entering into such an agreement.

In these circumstances, if you cannot receive your rest breaks you must be offered an equivalent period of ‘compensatory rest’ wherever possible.  This compensatory rest should be given immediately after the end of the work period where possible.  If this is not possible for objective reasons, the Employer should give you “such protection as may be appropriate in order to safeguard the workers health and safety”.  An important case in 2012 confirmed that interrupted rest breaks can still count as compensatory rest – details are here

In 2014, in an unreported case (so we only know the name of the Claimant not the Care Home he worked for), an Employment Tribunal found that a care service provider was in breach of the WTR for not incorporating daily rest breaks and daily rest periods into a support worker’s shift pattern and for failing to offer compensatory rest.  The Care Home employed approximately 150 staff with 25 managers.  The Claimant, Mr Hood, claimed that there had been a number of occasions when he had not been permitted to take a rest break and that he had not been granted a full daily rest period an average of 3-4 times per month in a year.  The Care Home’s staff handbook stated that rest breaks away from the service user were not to be taken during a shift. The Care Home argued that it was uneconomical to provide support to cover the occasions when Mr Hood was not granted his daily rest period.  The Tribunal agreed that the service the Care home provided fell into the category of services that was exempt; however Mr Hood had not been offered compensatory rest periods.  The  Tribunal found it difficult to understand why the home could not organise shifts so as to allow daily rest periods for its employees, as the home allowed employees who smoke to take a break during their shift and for that break they were covered by a Manager.  The Tribunal felt a manager could also cover for rest breaks and that these rest breaks could be easily incorporated into the worker’s shift.

The Government Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (previously BERR) has published guidance that says a worker, even if they fall into one of these categories, must have a right to a minimum of 90 hours rest per week.  Compensatory rest does not necessarily need to come out of time that would otherwise have been working time. It is likely that Carers will be covered by compensatory rest provisions in many cases.

Domestic servants employed in a private household are excluded from a number of the Working Time Regulations, except they are entitled to daily and weekly rest breaks.  It is debatable whether carers could be classified as “domestic servants,” as the definition of “domestic servant” has not be tested in the Courts. (2011)

In addition, there is also the principle of Unmeasured Working Time. This applies to a worker whose working time is not measured or pre-determined and where the worker has control over the number of hours they work. These exempted workers are excluded from a number of the WTR, including all rest break provisions and the 48 hour maximum weekly working hours (see next section). Unmeasured working time generally applies to Company Directors (and specifically those with autonomous decision making powers), Managers, Family Workers and Religious Workers.

It is debatable whether this can be applied to most care workers, particularly if they do not have the autonomy to control the number of hours they work and if they have a fixed number of normal hours or on-call hours.

 

Working Hours

The legislation states that you cannot work for more than 48 hours per week, which is normally measured over a 17 week ‘reference period’.

However, this ’17 week reference period’ can be amended where:

  • There is a valid collective or workforce agreement in place the reference period can be extended up to a maximum of 52 weeks, provided that objective or technical reasons or reasons concerning the employer’s organisation justify this extension.
  • Workers can have a 26 week reference period if they do work that involves the need for continuity of service or production e.g. hospital and care workers. This is likely to be applicable to many care workers.

(For full details see our WTR Guide here).

Information you need to know about the weekly working limit:

  • If you are on a PAYE contract for a fixed period (employee or worker), that is under the 17 or 26 week reference period (whichever your employer is using), your ‘reference’ period for calculating your working hours will be the actual length of your contract.
  • This 48 hour per week limit also applies if you have more than one job, i.e. the total amount of combined working hours you do should not exceed 48 per week.  If it does, each Employer should ask you to sign an Opt-Out (see below).
  • If you are an Agency Temp then the Employer you are working for (not the Agency that employs you) is responsible for ensuring you do not work more than 48 hours per week.
  • The ‘reference’ period takes into account any statutory holiday, sick leave, maternity/paternity/adoption/parental leave and any Opt-Out’s (see below) in place.  The reference period is extended by the number of days on any of the above.
  • Domestic servants who work in a private household are generally excluded from the weekly working time limit.  As mentioned above, it is debatable whether care workers fall under this exemption.
  • Those who have unmeasured working time (see previous section) are exempt from the weekly working hours limits. Again, it is debateable whether care workers fall under this exemption.

Opt Outs:

  • In many industries Workers can be asked by their employers to voluntarily sign an Opt-Out Agreement which is legal, i.e. you opt out of the 48 hour limit and agree that you can work for more than 48 hours per week. The Opt-Out is not a condition of your employment and it must remain optional and voluntary. Therefore even if you have signed your contract with an Opt Out in place you have the legal right to opt back in to the 48 hour limit at a later date – you have to give your employer a minimum of 7 days written notice by law to do this (check your contract in case it requires a longer time scale to Opt back in, as this is allowed).
  • You should not be subjected to any detriment by refusing or proposing to refuse to sign an Opt-Out agreement. If you are an employee and are dismissed because you refuse to sign an Opt-Out clause then this could be an automatically unfair dismissal and you could potentially make a claim to an Employment Tribunal.
  • The number of hours you work per week can be averaged by your employer over the applicable reference period (or your contract length), rather than measured in one week, and the first 20 days holiday you are legally entitled to (see below) cannot be used to reduce your average number of hours worked. However Daily and Weekly Rest breaks and the Opt Out, the maximum in any week you should work is 78 hours – unless you choose to forego your rest breaks (see our main Guide to the WTR for more details).

To calculate your working hours you include your:

  • ‘Normal’ weekly working hours (any period during which you are working or at the Employers disposal and carrying out their activities or duties)
  • Job-related training
  • Job-related travelling time (including where this an integral part of the job)
  • Business/working lunches
  • Time spent working abroad (for a UK company)
  • Paid and some unpaid overtime (see below)
  • Time spent on-call at the workplace (either working or during ‘sleep’ time – whether you are asleep or actually working where ‘sleeping’ is permitted). However, please note the NMW Regulations are not clear on this issue.  There has been much case law on the WTR and whether on call time is considered to be working time. The current position is that on call time constitutes working time if the worker is required to be in the workplace, rather than at home and even if the worker is asleep for the entire period time.
  • Time spent on-call elsewhere while actually working.

The Working Week does not include:

  • Breaks when no work is done (e.g. lunch breaks)
  • Normal travel to and from work
  • Time spent travelling outside of normal working hours (i.e early meeting at a client’s premises  that requires travel the night before)
  • Time on-call spent away from the workplace (unless you are actually working)
  • Unpaid overtime where you have volunteered to, for example, stay late to finish something off
  • Paid or unpaid holiday.

Night Working

There is extra protection under WTR for people classified as night workers.

  • Night time is generally defined as the period between 11pm and 6am.
  • You are a night worker if you regularly work at least 3 hours during the night time.
  • As a night worker you should not work more than an average of 8 hours in each 24 hour period, excluding overtime (which is calculated over the appropriate reference period which is usually 17 weeks for Night Workers).
  • If your job involves special hazards or heavy physical or mental strain you cannot work more than 8 hours in each 24 hour period (i.e. no overtime can be worked) and your working hours cannot be averaged over any reference period.
  • It may be possible for a worker and an employer to enter into a workforce agreement.  Such an agreement could modify or exclude the limits on night work.  For example, it could amend the meaning of “night time.” These agreements are potentially very helpful to employers who are engaging live-in carers. However, a workforce agreement will not always be appropriate or even possible in every situation and there are a number of hurdles; specialist advice should be obtained on them.

Those who have unmeasured working time (see above) are exempt from the maximum length of night work under these provisions, as are Domestic Servants in Private Households.

If you are a Night Worker your Employer must offer you a free health assessment before you start working nights and at regular intervals after that.

Holidays

All ‘Workers’ are entitled to a legal minimum of 28 days (5.6 weeks – pro rata’d if you are part time) paid leave each year.  See our Guide to Zero-Hours Contracts here.

To see our complete article about ‘Holidays’ go to our Working Time Regulations Guide here; however the important things you need to know are:

  • Your Employer has no legal obligation to ensure you have taken your statutory holiday entitlement.
  • You start building up your holiday entitlement as soon as you start work.
  • Holiday entitlement cannot be counted as weekly rest days, it is completely separate.
  • If you are an Agency Temp then the Agency that employs you (not the Employer you are working for) is responsible for ensuring you receive your statutory minimum holiday entitlement.
  • Bank and Public holidays can be included in these 28 days; at the moment there is no statutory right to take bank holidays off. (For more information see our Bank Holidays Guide).
  • The simplest way to calculate your holiday entitlement is to multiply the number of days you work each week by 5.6.  If you work part-time, irregular or freelance hours you can calculate your entitlement on this Direct Gov page.  The holiday entitlement of 5.6 weeks is equivalent to 12.07 % of the hours worked over a year.
  • For our updated advice about holiday entitlement during sick leave, or sickness during holidays see here.

Calculating leave for shift workers – it’s often easier to work this out by the number of shifts you get off – e.g. if you work 4 x 12 hour shifts on and then have 4 days off, the average working week is 3.5 x 12 hour shifts.  So, 5.6 weeks holiday is 5.6 x 3.5 = 19.6 x 12 hour shifts holiday entitlement.

Please note that the statutory paid holiday entitlement is capped at 28 days.  So, if you work 6 days a week, you are not entitled to more than 28 days holiday under statutory entitlement (your Employer may give you more) – e.g. 5.6 x 5 days per week = 28 days but 5.6 x 6 days per week = 33.6 days.

How much pay should you receive for a week’s holiday:

A Week’s Pay is calculated in accordance with the definition of a working week in the Employment Rights Act 1996 which says that a ‘working week’ includes overtime only if this is contractual, i.e. it is specified in your employment contract. If your overtime is not specified in the contract it is not counted. To see all the details about a Week’s Pay please see our Guide hereHowever, in 2013, there are signs that the counting of non-contractual overtime may change – see more details in our new Guide ‘How to Avoid Confusion When Calculating Holiday Pay

Holiday entitlement during sick leave and sick leave during holidays!

Finally in 2012 we are getting closer to some clarity on what happens in these situations – see our August 2012 Guide to holiday entitlement and sick leave here for full details.

 

Care Standards -

At Workline we cannot help you with Care Standards issues, i.e. the training and supervision you should receive in your job, the number of staff that need to be present when providing care and so-on.

If you would like more advice/information about these sorts of issues then the Care Quality Commission may be able to help.  Their website is www.cqc.org.uk .  On this page is information about the ‘standards’ they require from the organisations they regulate and on this page you can contact them and report any concerns.

There are other Care Standards organisations too which you can find through any internet search.

If you are an Employer and need ongoing professional help with any staff/freelance issues, or a Contractor/Freelancer/Employee with a complicated employment related problem, then talk to Lesley at The HR Kiosk  – a Human Resources Consultancy for small businesses – our fees are low to reflect the pressures on small businesses and you can hire us for as much time as you need.

Please note that the advice given on this website and by our Advisors is guidance only and cannot be taken as an authoritative or current interpretation of the law. It can also not be seen as specific advice for individual cases. Please also note that there are differences in legislation in Northern Ireland.

 

Photo by Gem Fountain

  • ang123blue

    Im a mobile care worker and on average my day is from 6am to 10pm – 16 hours. I have numerous clients which I drive to, some of them often a couple of miles apart, I am only paid from when I clock in to a clients house until I clock out. Should I be paid for my travelling time between clients, as although I am out of the house 16 hours I am lucky if I get paid for 10 as I am not getting paid for any rest break, lunch or travelling time. Is this legal, help please does anyone know my rights.

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi, thanks for your comments.  Your time spent travelling for work purposes is time when the National Minimum Wage should be paid.  This may not include time spent travelling to and from your own home though (it will depend what it says in your contract).  You should receive the NMW for all the hours you work.  Your rest breaks do not have to legally be paid, it is quite usual for rest breaks (especially lunch breaks) not to be paid.  But your travelling time should be paid.  Do you have a contract you can check?  Do you have time between appointments when you are not actually working?  IF you want to e-mail me I’m on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • ang123blue

        Hi thanks for your reply to my query. I do have tome between some calls when I am not actually working, I might finish at 1pm and my next call is not until 3.30pm so these are classed as my breaks. You state that I should be paid for travelling in between calls but the way my rota runs is that my first call will be 6.30am-7am  then my next call 7am-7.30am then 7.30-8am and so on so all my calls run into one another with no time for travelling even though I do travel alot. Sometimes my calls are 4 miles apart and we are expected to travel there, we are often late and we only get paid for the time we are logged into a clients home. also in addition to not getting paid for travelling time we dont get paid for the petrol we use either. They said that they could only afford to pay us 7p per mile and it wasnt worth it as we could claim 45p a mile from the taxman but so far my tax code remains the same.  I think that I am being treated very unfairly but none of the other carers seem bothered.

        • Lesley Furber

          I’m going to reply on e-mail.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

          • Hartybum_16

            Hi, I’m in the same situation with the care company i work for. I’m out for hours with no breaks running from one call to the next. only paid when i log in to the clients home and i’m paid no mileage. I’m on a zero contract and only get a weekend off once a fortnight, so end up working 12 days in a row and always get hassled to work my one weekend off. my next 7 days total 57 hrs just in peoples homes, that doesn’t included the time i’m in my car travelling from job to job.

          • Lesley Furber

            Hi I’m going to reply by e-mail as I have some questions.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

          • nch21

            that sounds extremely familiar to my job as a care worker, the time inbetween calls is not paid, i am out the house from 7am – 10.15pm with gaps all over the place inbetween calls where I have no time to do anything except wait for my next call. I also only get every other weekend off and yes I am often called to do extra work. I have just finished a 19 days in a row stint where my pattern of work was often starting at 7am and finishing at 10.15pm, so hardly enough time to rest. I am on a zero hours contract so my hours fluctuate from week to week depending on the ‘mood’ of the office staff. Can I claim back money for petrol? Are they breaking the law by not allowing me sufficient rest between days?? Please can you advise me Lesley. 

        • Hannah

          Hi I’m in exactly the same situation. I dont get paid for my trvel time and often there is no allowance for time to get form one call to the next anyway. I AM paid milage but only 30p per mile not 45. Could you give me the advice you have emailed the others here please? Also I did 2 days manadatory training but have not been paid for them. I’ve checked my contract and it does’t say anything definate. Thanks

          • lesleyfurber

            Hi Hannah, thanks for your message. I’m afraid I don’t have time to read back through all these messages so I’m not sure what advice I e-mailed others that you are referring to? My replies re travelling time are the same to everyone so apply to you too. You can e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk – if you include the paragraph from your contract that applies to your training that would be helpful. Regards, Lesley, Workline

          • Hannah

            Hi, sorry I wasn’t sure how your website worked.

            I am a care worker in peoples homes and am only paid for the time i am actually with my clients. I usually work 7 days per week. 7am – 9.30pm with a few odd 15 or 30 minute breaks between for travelling and a larger break usually after luch of 3-4 hours. Ocasionally there’s be a whole hour, more than enough to travel in but completely useles as a break as i can’t get home in that time. I do not get paid for the travel time and often there is no travel time scheduled for me to get 3 or 4 miles between clients in which case i inevitably end up finishing late, time for which i do not get paid either. Where does the law stand with regard to being paid for this travel time?
            I had to do 2 days mandatory training at the company office when i started for which i was not paid. Where does the law stand on this?
            I am paid 30p per mile and my tax code is 0T. can i claim any tax back?
            My rates of pay were agreed verbally. I am now told that as i was only given 10hours work per day over the weekends, not 12 hours I am not entitled to the higher rate of pay despite my being available 7am-10pm. There is nothing in my contract specifically stating rates of pay. I believe there is a separate form i should have signed before i started but they can’t find mine (because they never gave it to me to sign) and I am only now aware of this, 8 weeks after i started.
            These issues have only just come to light because I have only just gained access to my payslips!
            Any advise on these matters would be greatly appreciated.

            Thanks,

            Hannah
            Subject: [freelanceadvisor] Re: Care Workers – what are your rights at work?

          • lesleyfurber

            hi Hannah, thanks for the further information. As I said, travel time between clients does count for work if it is travel for the purposes of work. Regards the training before you started, this is quite common but it will depend on how this is worded in your contract. Regarding the tax please see the HMRC website here – http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/mileage/ With regards to your pay, your contract should state your rates of pay or at least refer to you where these can be found so you need to ask them for this information. Your Employer must keep to the rates of pay they give you but by law all they need to do is pay you at the least the national minimum wage for all the hours you work. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

    • Tinaharris3

      hi did you find out your rights as i am having the same ort of problems with my careing company thanks tina

  • http://twitter.com/samdecdani rachel helen green

    im a night dementia care worker , my contract says general domestic work but recently alot has been added to my duties apart form all laundry the list ofcleaning is like spring cleaning each night is it legal to just add extra work without being asked , i lovemy job as a carer but ifel more like a domestic worker also its minimumwage thanks for any replies

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Rachel, thanks for your query.  Were you given a job description when you started work? It will depend how detailed this is in what it says your cleaning duties are – is there flexibility in there in that your duties can be changed etc.  Are you saying that you now need to extra hours to complete it all too? If you want to e-mail me I’m at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Thanks, Lesley, Workline

  • Mmelvis01

    i work 5 days a week 7.5 daily i have been told on my two rest days i must be on call, this restrict what i need to do with my family and that i have to be available to go onto working permisses at any time. in my job description it does not state on call or what is invovlved in this job and the time of the on call to be
    can my empyer make me do oncall on my rest days as it doesnt state in mycontract or my job descrition

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi, thanks for your query.  As you are possibly working in an area that needs 24 hour continuity of service (?) your Employer can ‘breach’ the 24 hours per week rest break provisions (or 48 hours in 14 days) as long as you receive ‘compensatory’ rest back for the time you have not had rest.  Your contract really should state this though.  Is it a new requirement or has this always been the case? You can e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Rachaelbalfour

    i am a registered nurse whose shift patterns are to change according to working time directives. The night shift which is normally 10 3/4hrs is now increasing to 12 hours to enable the afternoon shift finish an hour earlier ( they are also starting work an hour ealier) to allow them 11 hours break prior to commencing next shift. How can tthis be correct extending the most succeptible shift for errors and safety by 5 1/4 hrs at the end of a 75 hr wk which has now become 84hrs. How safe can it be

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Rachael, thanks for your query.  As long as your Employer is following the Working Time regulations for your shift patterns then this will be allowed.  It’s difficult to give you any more comments without any further information so if you want to e-mail me I’m at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley

  • Karen Jones

    Hi ,I am a care home worker  who works bank shifts,i am on the sick at the moment and was wondering how i stand about claiming sick pay. as i have had a nervous break down ( not due to work ) and i am not sure how long i will be off work.i would be greatful for any advice.
    thank you

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Vanessa-Hills/100000800101844 Vanessa Hills

    hello. a friend of mine has been dismissed for gross misconduct of verbal abuse. she had disciplinary hearing for verbal abuse to a client in a nursing home she was senior carer there. she has been dismissed for verbal abuse although it was a comment overheard by another carer who was in a different room. i hasten to add that she did not make the comment they were referring too. as they have dismissed her for verbal abuse should they have contacted safegaurding as this was not done as they call it abuse? she has extended her time to appeal and is seeking legal advise asap. also she did not sign any minutes at the disciplinary as she wasnt aware she had too and wasnt asked to either. these minutes she has asked for copies of in writing as neither has she received any copies. so basically should she have been dismissed without it being reported to safegaurding and a proper investigation taking place by them. thanks for taking time to read this and im sure your reply will be valuable to assist with giving her some peace of mind.

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Vanessa, thanks for your comments.  I’m afraid I’m not aware what ‘safeguarding’ is (I presume an official body of some sort) so I cant help you with that part of your question.  There is no legal requirement that she needs to sign the minutes at the disciplinary hearing, however she should receive a written response after the disciplinary hearing explaining what was discussed and what the hearing’s decision was.  Certainly before dismissal, the employer should investigate the matter properly and follow correct procedures, to ensure they make a ‘fair’ dismissal.  Whether it is fair to dismiss for gross misconduct because of verbal abuse, I am unable to answer without the whole details.  If she is taking legal advice then that is the best thing she can do and obviously she should appear.  You can read Workline’s Guide to discipliaries and dismissals here – http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/getting-a-job/disciplinary-and-dismissal-procedures-for-employees/ – if you have any further queries please e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • gb

    I am a support worker being paid £6.17 per hour. My contract says “for the purposes of calculating working time , any time spent travelling, “sleep over” arrangements or waiting on an “on call” arrangement will be excluded.”
    I feel I should be paid for travelling time between clients in line with the National Minimum wage – but does the wording of the contract exclude this.
    Thanks

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi, thanks for your comment.  You certainly must be paid the National Minimum Wage for time spent travelling between clients (but not between home and work) – if you read above you will see that with regard to the NMW being paid for sleep-over and on-call this can be very complicated and the law is not 100% certain!  After you have read the above, if you have any further questions you can e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Ros

    I work in a private hospital which also has referals from the nhs. when I finish an evening shift at 9.30pm I have to be back at work the next morning at 7am for an early turn.This gives me only a 9 1/2hr rest period. Is it legal or can I insist on the full 11 hour rest period.

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Ros, as you work in an industry that provides 24 hours continuous service this is allowed.  But you must receive ‘compensatory’ rest back for the time under 11 hours you did not get, at a later point.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Elizabeth

    Hi, I work at a residential boarding house for young
    disabled people.  Previously our meals were provided when on shift, which
    we would take with the residents while supporting them with meals.  Also,
    we generally had a 20 minute break during our shift in addition to meals. 
    They have changed this September due to financial reasons and no longer provide meals. 
    However they only allow ten minutes now for a break, and this is not scheduled
    in so we are uncertain when this will be.  So, for a shift from 7-3 we
    only are provided with a ten minute break.  I find it difficult to eat breakfast before coming to work, as
    often I finish the previous day at 11 pm. 
    What are our rights in relation to this new shift pattern?  Do we have the right to meal breaks?  I find it difficult to work and to keep
    up my energy with out set times for meals or breaks.  Many thanks, Elizabeth

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Elizabeth, thanks for your query.  If you work more than 6 hours continuously then you must legally have a 20 minute break (this is not specified as to what it is for, e.g. for meal times).  You need to talk to your Employer as they are currently breaking the law.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Robert

    please.help..i am a employer  and i have been told that  once  a member of my staff works at a place for 12 weeks they are entitled to same pay and conditions that the permanent staff at the place they are temping at…….. is this correct….problem is as a agency some staff for example are on minimum wage and at one place we supply to their own staff get paid £12ph and get pension medical cover am i correct in thinking  that I will be liable pay our staff the same rate as that of their permanent staff should they work in the  same place for atotal of 12 weeks not even consecutively that is a accumulated 12 weeks 

  • Michellej1966

    hi. could you please answer my question. i am a care worker and work a 19 hour shift on a saturday night, finishing at 9am on a sunday morning from 2.30pm the previous day. i work on my own and the night shift is spent awake doing checks and being on call, whilst doing chores. i have been given another shift from 2.30pm on the sunday afternoon until 9pm that night. i do not sleep during my night shift and have concerns about the rota and not getting sleep between shifts. can i be made to work these hours? thank you

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Michelle, I’m going to reply to you by e-mail as I have some queries.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Emma

    Hi, i work in a private care home and i ahve a few things that i dont quiet understand, we are being made to do mandatory training in our own time and not being paid for it, i only have been getting 1 day of a week and i was told that i am only intitaled to 1 week holiday every 3 months even though i am full time 40 hours per week worker also sometime i am finishing work at 9.30pm and i am starting again at 7am which is only 9.5 hour gap, is this alright for them to do

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Emma, I’m going to reply to you by e-mail.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • happycamper

    Hi, Love the site and the info. As a care worker I am required by my employer to attend various mandatory training sessions. Training locations are remote from my normal work base and to attend 9.30 -4.00 means a 10 hour day, starting journey from normal workbase. Employer will only pay for 7.5 hours. Am I enttled to payment for the additional travel time?

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Happycamper, thanks for your kind comments!  I’m going to reply by e-mail.  Regards, Lesley

  • Jmartin66

    hi  i worked 3pm – 10pm sat night, offering 1 to 1 care, then from 10pm-7am i was supposed to be on sleep-in shift but was disturbed at 10.30 -11.15 pm to help another client in the building, i then was also disturbed by a drunk man outside the window (not sure of time) at 7am sunday i started work again 7am-9am giving meds out. i then went home and returned to work 3pm-10pm sunday working 1 to 1. an alligation has been made that i fell asleep while working 1 to 1 with this guy. oh and at 10.40pm on saturday night i also made numerous calls to an on-call out of hours phone to alert them about the client who needed non-emergency assistace, however the on-call person phone was engages/no signal.and therefore no contact was made. please will you get back to me

    • Lesley Furber

      hi, I’m going to reply by e-mail as I have some questions.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Jmartin66

    hi im a care-worker.On saturday i worked 1 to 1 with a client from 3pm-10pm then at 10pm i started a sleep-over til 7am. however i was disturbed by another client in the building ,i wrote this down and tryed to phone out of hours on-call for the situation but their phone was engaged/no signal,i also wrote that down, at 7am i started actual working hours again til 9am giving out meds, i then went home and returned to work for another shift 3pm-10pm on this shift i was told to go home as an alligation has been made that i fell asleep on this shift. What are my rights concerning rest periods etc. As i feel i was very tired but didnt fall asleep. they have sent me home on full pay and its been nearly 24hours now. I have no previous cases of this in the 8 years i have worked for this company and all in all a clean record up to this point

  • Joyce Eadie

    I work as night worker doing from waking nights of 50 hours to now doing lone sleep ins also being on call if needed I have just finished my firsted night in a put up bed  in the office which has left me with a sore back today do I have a right to a bedroom with bed I work in a private home and support people with mental needs
     

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Joyce, thanks for your query.  I’m afraid I can’t help you with that question as it’s not strictly employment law related so not an area I’m famiilar with, you’re going to have to do some more research – I would imagine you would need to given adequate or reasonable accommodation but what that actually means I don’t know.  Good luck and sorry I can’t help.  Lesley, Workline

  • Linda

    If I only work 2 hours a day, everyday, is it compulsory that I get 1 day off out of 7 (or 2 days off out of 14) ? Is there a way I can opt out? Or would my employer be breaking the law by allowing me to work everyday?

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Linda, you can choose to not receive your 1 day off in 7 if you want to as long as:
      You do not breach the 48 hour weekly average working limit (unless you Opt Out – see next section)Provided there is no foreseeable risk to your Health and Safety, andYour Employer has given you the chance of having the rest
      periods but you choose not to (Employers are only obliged to ensure you
      take the rest breaks if you wish).You will therefore not be entitled to compensatory rest.
      It will be up to your Company to agree to this though as it is ‘technical’ breach of the Regulations, but as long as you are both in agreement it is fine.  Hope that helps.  Regards, Lesley, workline

  • Hamletkok

    i a care worker working 375 hrs a week over 5 days as per contract, am i expected to work additional sleep ins required?

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi, I guess you mean 37.5 hours.  It’s going to depend what your contract says about whether you are required to do this and what your total hours of work will be.  If you want to e-mail me then I’m on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Smeths36

    Hello, my wife is a care worker at a nursing home for patients with dementia.  She only works weekends usually 7:30 pm Friday until 7:30 am Saturday then returns 1:30pm on Saturday until 7:30 pm and a shift on Sunday from 7:30 am until 1:30 pm Sunday, in total this works out at 14 hours.  Recently another member of staff has been commenting that my wife is working too much and seems a little bitter.  My wife is concerned she may not be complying with regulations, we are aware that she doesn’t have a 11 hour break between finishing her Friday night shift, but as she works weekends alone, is she doing anyhing wrong.

    Hope to hear back from you.

    Dave

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Dave, thanks for your question.  Basically, no, I don’t think there is anything wrong here, unless the shifts are something she finds difficult in term of her health and safety/ability to do the work, and it is her Employers responsibility to ensure her work patterns are complying with the Regulations. 

      As she works in a situation needing 24 hour cover, then she is probably covered by an exemption which means if she can’t have her 11 hour rest break she should get ‘compensatory’ rest of equivalent to the part of the 11 hours that was interupted (so between 7.30pm Sat morning and 1.30 Saturday afternoon she’s getting approximately 6 hours rest, so is 5 hours short, so should be due 5 hours compensatory rest where possible).  However, at the point she stops working on Sunday this ‘rest’ is taken.

      Hope that helps – if you want to e-mail me I’m at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Alice nights

    hi, i’m a night care worker in a residential home, the home has recently brought in 12 hour shifts, at first we were told we would get paid for the full 12 hours as we need to be available at all time during the night, now they are only going to pay us 11 hours and have 2 half hour breaks, the company has told us that we are not allowed to sleep during our break but surely as we are not getting paid we can do what we want during our break, this also only leaves 1 carer on duty, the night carers are up in arms over it, please advise us of our rights

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Alice, thanks for your query.  I’ve got some queries so I’m going to e-mail you.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Alice nights

        hi lesley,
         thank you for your reply, I have sent you an E-mail as i think I may have put co.uk for my e-mail address instead of . com when I registered, I was tired when I wrote it, sorry.
        Alice

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gary-Douglas/100001745468897 Gary Douglas

    Hi Lesley

     As you have stated above the laws around NMW and sleep in duties is a bit blurry however i have to issues surrounding this area. Firstly i am conracted to work 37hrs per week on an annual salary. However both myself and my colleagues usually have at least 1 sleep in per week between 10pm and 9am. This would bring my working week upto 48 hrs. Should my sleep in shift not be counted into the 37 hours otherwise be classed as overtime? And also can you give me a little more info regards what exactly is legally required to be paid the NMW for the 11 hours sleep in. Thank you

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Gary I’m going to reply to you by e-mail.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

    • Lesley Furber

      hi again Gary.  Sorry I don’t seem to have your e-mail address.  I need to ask you some questions about your query so could you e-mail me at workine@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workine

  • Ang123blue

    Hiya, I emailed you earlier saying that I was only getting paid for the time when I was logged into a clients house and that my calls ran directly on from one another so I got no travelling time and you said that I was entitled to be paid for it. Now what is happening is that most of my calls have 20-30 mins between them when I am sitting doing nothing just waiting in my car outside the clients home. The other night I started at 3.30pm and finished at 10pm but out of the 6 and half hours only 3 and half were actually spent logged into clients homes, the rest of the time I was either travelling to my next call which usually takes no more than 5-10mins or waiting for my next client, so I was out 6 and half hours and only got paid for 3 and half. This has been happening since I started at the company and a couple of the other carers have been complaining about the time we are out but dont get paid for. One carer was out 16 hours 6am-10pm but only got paid for 9 hours. What can we do about it and can we get the pay back for previous months. Any advice would be great.

    • Lesley Furber

      hi, I’m going to reply to you by e-mail.  Thanks, Lesley, Workline

    • Michelle H

      hello this is exaclty what has happened with the company i work for..we have such big gaps we have shftfs of 44hrs on 4days on..only get paid 32hrs!..if a gap is an hr or more now, they no longer pay you, yet they expect you to be on call in those gaps to pick up extra or sit about in your car.

      • Lesley Furber

        hi Michelle, I have just taken some additional advice from our Lawyers and they have confirmed that time spent waiting to meet someone (i.e. a patient) in connection with work, plus all travelling time to do with work (not between home and work), unless you are on unpaid breaks, are eligible for the National Minimum wage.  If you have any queries please e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Joe b loggs

    Hi I work 10 hour shifts in a privately run care home providing 24 hour care to 35 clients of which 25% have dementia. There is only two members of staff on during the night and no structured breaks. I have never been offered a health assessment and work from 9pm till 7.15am.

    What breaks am I entitled to?
    Do you know what the client to staff ratio is?

    Kind regards 

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Joe, thanks for your message. I’m afraid I can’t answer you on the client to staff ratio as that’s outside of our employment law remit, you’ll have to do some research to see if this exists in law, I’m afraid I don’t know.  However, you should be offered a health check-up if you work nights and you should get 20 minutes break if you work more than 6 hours; however your employer may argue they have an exemption to this as you work in a 24-hour care environment, which means you should get the 20 minute uninterrupted break, but if you are unable to you need to get this back as ‘compensatory’ rest as soon as possible.  Hope that helps – if you have any further queries please e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Wilma

    Hey my manager has arranged meetings every friday but I dont always work on fridays as i work any 5 out of 7 do I have to go in?

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Wilma, do you have a contract that says anything about this.  Will you be paid for going to this meeting?  I would say that yes you probably do need to attend as this will be seen as part of your duties.  if you’ve got any further questions please e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk

  • Racietracy007

    hi, i work in a residential care home where at least 60%  have dementia. Our shift pattern is 8am-3pm or 3pm-10pm depending what you are put down for for that day. Can our manager put someone down to do a combination of these shifts for a 13 day stretch with no day off, sometimes it can be 9 days. So it could be 8-3 day 1, 8-3 day 2, 3-10 day 4, 8-3 day 5,  3-10 day 6, 3-10 day7 .

    • Lesley Furber

      hi, if you are classed as a shift-worker or work in an industry that provides 24 hour care, then you can be exempt from having your daily and weekly rest breaks.  You should have a 24 hour consecutive period of rest in every 7 days or a 48 hour consecutive period of rest in every 14 days (your Employer can choose whether it’ on a 7 day or 14 day period). However, if you working in an exempted job/industry if you cannot get this rest period every 7 or 14 days then you should receive the rest you did not get as ‘compensatory rest’ as soon as is possible.  Hope that helps.  If you have any questions then you can e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Jim

    Hi. Can you answer a few questions. Im a support worker working in a supported living home. Our employer has recently informed us our meals will no longer be suplied. Do we as support workers have the right to take meal breaks, can these be taken away from the work site. Also we are regularly at the work site for 24 hours and over, this involves us needing to take enough food into work for this time i.e snacks,tea/coffee,evening meal,breakfast and lunch. Should our employer provide storage areas for our food and some where to eat it. Your advise would be greatfully received.

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Jim, yes you have the right to take a 20 minute unpaid break in law if you work over 6 hours (but there is no more entitlement legally if you work longer).  The law doesn’t say where this needs to be taken apart from not at your normal work station. With regards to your other queries about storage areas/eating areas I’m afraid I can’t help you on that, it’s probably more of a Health and Safety question so you might want to look at the Health and Safety Executive website and see if they can help – it would certainly think they should provide these facilities if you need now to bring in your own supplies.  Hope that helps.  Regards, Lesley

  • marie

    hi been reading all the complaints from care workers and i have a similar complaint. My daughter has recently started working as a care worker and she too only gets paid for the time worked in the clients house but not for all the travelling to all her clients, all she gets paid is 18p per mile.One day she worked 18hrs and because she was so tired she ended up having an accident which is going to cost her £1000, she also has to use her own phone all the time in relation to work so her phone bill has gone up from 27 to 60, as for rest time she often is made to do an afternoon and evening shift, not getting home till gone midnight and then having to get up at 4am to start a morning shift as her clients are an hours drive away plus she never gets any breaks to eat. Sorry im ranting a little but i believe this is extremely wrong, careworkers should not be treated this way, by the way she is on a zero hours contract. Any advice please ?  
    regards Marie

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Marie, I’m going to reply to you by e-mail as I have some questions.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Kathleenloud

    Hi I wonder if someone could help me. I started a job as a support worker in July and I have took 3 days holiday so far and they have told me I have 2.5 days still to take? I believe this is wrong as I have worked 530 hours since I started back then. Should it not be more?

    • Lesley Furber

      hi kathleen, sorry for the delay in replying but I have only seen this comment today.  It’s going to depend how many hours you normally work (are contracted for) and your exact start date and what dates your holiday year runs.  I’m afraid I can’t answer your question without this information – if you want to e-mail me I’m on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • John

    Hi
    Reading the notes above my son has a familar story. He is only paid for the time allocated to clients not the travelling time in between. His normal shift is about 15 hours with payment for about 9 of those. He does get a petrol allowance but that only covers the cost of petrol. From the messages it is clear that this is against the rules and he should be paid. As these companies are clearly abusing staff with gross underpayments, long hours and operating outside of legislation is the health and safety executive aware of this probelem which is clearly rife throughout the industry. I would like to challege the company but fear they will find away of dismissing my son. He actually really likes the job but will get fed up if he doesnt get paid. advice would be appreciated.

    • Lesley Furber

      hi John, thanks for your comment.  Obviously I don’t know if the HSE are aware of this but I would imagine they must be as the practices you describe are common knowledge.  There is not much advice I can give you apart from that you have to challenge the company if you want the problem solved or he could join a Trade Union to see if they can do that for him.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Oatlea

    Is it the law that carers get paid travelling time between clients? My company say we dont have to be paid this and as such can be out of the house for up to 14hrs and only get paid for 9

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Oatlea, as far as we are aware the law as regards to the national minimum wage is this (as above): “Travelling on business during normal working hours – you should be paid
      for all travel time in connection with your job (not from your home to
      work) including travelling time from one assignment/client, except if
      you are on a rest break.  This includes time waiting to meet someone in
      connection with your work.”  Hope that helps, regards, Lesley

  • Oatlea

    Can my company refuse to pay travelling time for travel between care clients

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=760558450 David Bass

    My mother works as a kitchen assistant in a care home.  she has received no formal training, has no care qualifications and yet was asked to work as a care worker on a night shift.  she was left unsupervised many times.
    my query is – is it legal for her employer to ask her to do that shift?  and, because an incident happened and they are blaming my mother, in regards to quality of care etc, could they do that considering she is unqualified and this isn’t even her job role?

    many thanks

    • Lesley Furber

      hi David, the situation seems highly inappropriate but I’m afraid I can’t say what training/qualifications your mother would need to be a care worker, I’m not aware if there are standard qualifications needed or not or whether it is up to the care home themselves to decide.  It also seems bizarre that they could blame your mother in regards to her qualify of care if that is not what she is employed to do.  I’m not sure what sort of care home your mother works in but if its operated/paid/overseen for by the local council (or nhs) for example then it would be worth contacting someone appropriate in that body.  If she has a contract of employment as a kitchen assistant I would look at that to see what it says about the hours she works and if the Employer can ask her to be flexible about working extra hours (and perhaps even different duties!).  If you’ve got any questions you can e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Adanu2006

    I’m a care worker for three years and I love my job. Recently a client verbally abused me. This client is perfectly capable to make decisions and also knows what says. My question is: can I decline myself from seeing this client based on this ground?

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Adanu, you’ll need to check what your contract says and any policies your company have with regards to giving care to clients and if your Employer gives you any ‘rights’ to refuse to deal with a client.  If you can’t find anything useful there can you talk to your Manager/Supervisor about this situation.  With regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Jensarahturner

    Hi there, I am a live in care worker, I have worked for my particular service user for nearly a year now. She wa srecently admitted into hospital and was subsquently told by my manager that I would not recieve pay whilst she was in hospital as social services consider hospital treatment to be the same as live in care. I am outraged as she was admitted for a week last september and was not informed about this and recieved full payment. When I discussed this with my line manager she said that she might have forgot to let social services know and unfortunately if they find out, my pay for the days she was admitted will be deducted from my salary. First of all, I was under the impression that I was employed by a private agency NOT social services and secondly, nowhere in my contract does it state that if my client is in hospital I will not be paid. Is this normal? Thanks, Jen

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Jen, I haven’t heard of this before.  You need to check what your contract says, how many hours you are employed for and what flexibility there is to change this amount of hours and in what circumstances.   If you have any queries then you can e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Jodiebogie1

    can anyone please tell me the law on male carers providing personal care to female patients in a nursing home!!!

    • Lesley Furber

       hi, I’m afraid Workline can’t help you – we can only advise on employment law related issues.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Fionarawlinson

    I am deputy manager of a care home, working twelve hour shifts. My contract says nothing about on call or sleep ins, however I am told I am on call from home, unpaid in between shifts, and expected to return in the case of emergencies. ( overnight) and if any member of night staff – whether night manager or night care assistant don’t come in, or they ar unable to cover sick or holidays, I am expected to do sleep ins, administering meds at 8 pm when I would have finished my shifts, and to get up and help if the shift gets busy. I have kids at home, and would not have taken the job had I known this… And as the company policy is not to use agency staff, it is a fairly regular event. When I queried it I was told my contract says I take responsibility of the home in the managers absence, and as he is on a salary and we are hourly paid, that means whenever he is off duty – he works office hours Monday to Friday.

    • Lesley Furber

       hi Fiona, is your query whether this is legal? Your Employer can ask you to do any reasonable tasks that are in line with your job, but you would expect this to be detailed in your contract.  You also should be paid for all the time while you are on-call that you are actually doing work.  If you have any queries you can e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Fiona

        Thanks, my idea of reasonable differs to theirs and that is where my problem lies. I think it is irresponsible to cover shifts with existing staff rather than a ‘no agency’ policy. I feel like a mug.

  • Georgina1

    Hi Lesley, 
    Hope you can help.
    My contract is for 37.5hours/ week = 162.5 hours month but the company will only pay overtime for hours worked over 175 hours in the month! They do not not include training, sleep-ins (at least 1/week) or annual leave as working hours. I have been told the 175 hours is pro rata. Please can you advise me.
    many thanks

    • Lesley Furber

       hi Georgina, it is not unlawful for your Company to not pay you overtime pay for the hours between 162.5 – 175 hours (as long as you are receiving the national minimum wage for all the hours you work).  They should however include work-related training in your working hours (time on holiday is not counted) and if you are on-call any time when you are actually working should also be included.  If you’ve got any queries you can e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Tinaharris3

    hi my wife works as a carer and she starts her shift at 7am and finnishes her shift at 10 30pm what time should she return to work on the following day please

    • Lesley Furber

      hi, well as she is a carer she is likely to be exempt from the need to have a 11 hour rest break between shifts – but she should receive ‘compensatory’ rest for the part of the 11 hour break she did not get, as soon as possible if this is possible.  Hope that helps.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Sharrietos

    Hi, My employer is going to change our awake nights to sleep-in nights, and says that sleep-ins are over our contracted hours.This is stated in the terms and conditions, is this legal? I work 37.5 hours a week now, but my employer is going to change this to 39 hours per week. How can Sleep-in nights be over your contracted hours? That would mean I would be at the disposal of my employer for 49 hours a week, 40 and a half hours awake and on duty 8 and a half hours asleep, but unable to leave the premises for the whole ten hour shift, surely that must be included in working time. I have asked my employer if this is right and they insist sleep-in hours are not included in contracted hours. Please advise as when I read the above replies I am still unsure, as terminology baffles the hell out of me.

    • Lesley Furber

       hi, I’m going to reply to you by e-mail as I have some questions.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Sharrietos

        Hi Lesley, thank you for the reply.
        I understand that my employer can change my contract at any time after consultation. What I am confused about is the working time. I rang ACAS and asked them about the new sleep ins and they told me, that if I was on call, at the disposal of my employer even if I was asleep, that would be counted as working time, because I was on the premises unable to leave the building. This will make my 39 hours a week would go up to 49 hours a week over and above my contracted hours. My employer has stated sleep in duty s are not included in our working time. If I am required to do more than 1 sleep in the hours spent at work and at works disposal will also increase, limiting my time off with my family. Surely time spent at work is working time? Is ACAS correct here? Regards Sharon

        • Lesley Furber

          Hi, the way I understand this (and I’ve taken advice from our lawyers) is that if you are on a sleep-in shift at work then all the time is counted towards working time (but all the time may not be counted regards being paid the national minimum wage)  – so yes ACAS are correct.  If you’ve got any further queries then please e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/P6TCWL35PKABEGKRIB7HYBKZWM 5463

    Hi there, I’m a little bit confused here or not sure what happens. My partner works in 2 care jobs and did wasn’t disclosed to each of the jobs. She works only nights except saturdays when she works day and nights atimes. In both jobs, she works 3shifts of 12hours work each. So each about 36hrs weekly. Even though she has about 12hours break intervals on both jobs apart from Saturdays, would she breaking the law by not confirming to both employers. She doesn’t work on sundays and sometimes she doesn’t get a 3shifts rota on one of the jobs. Please advise. Thanks

    • Lesley Furber

       Hi, she needs to tell both Employers as she is working over 48 hours per week and needs to sign an Opt Out.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Nikgrin21

    Hi I have been reading the information above and seen that u have put up saying that we are intital to receive pay when traveling to and from clients and this time is included in are working day, is this right and how do I go about informing my employer of this. I have been given shifts were I am working for 35 hours (this is for only hours spent in with a client) but am acutely at work for over 50 depending were I have to travel to and from can u give me any more advise on this many thanks

    • Lesley Furber

       hi, thanks for your query.  Yes, the advice we have received from our Lawyers is that travelling time to or between clients (not including any travel going home) is counted as working time for pay and hours worked.  With regards to informing your Employer, I would think they are aware of this anyway – but it may be worth you calling ACAS to get their advice which you can pass onto your Employer.  If you have any further queries you can e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Cazheath21

    hi….my daughter has been with a care firm since january. today she had to get up at 5 am to get to a client for 6 am and she will not finish til midnight with NO BREAK…..what can we do about this?

    • Lesley Furber

       hi Caz, I’m afraid legally there is probably nothing wrong here, as she is probably exempt from the 20 minute rest break because she works in the care industry and is possibly a shift worker?  However, of course the Employer should have the sense to give her a break to ensure she is capable of working properly.  Your daughter and her colleagues should try to speak to their Employer about this if she can.  If you want to e-mail me I’m on workine@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • J Dowst

    im a worker in the community and recently our night shifts have changed from 10 hours a night to 12 hours.we work alone and get no break during these nights as we work in peoples homes.we are required to remain awake throughout.is this allowed or are we working to long without proper breaks?

    • Lesley Furber

       Hi, it’s going to depend what you do and whether what you do needs 24 hour continuous provision – if it does (and you are a shift worker) then you are likely to be exempt from the need to have a 20 minute rest break.  If you want to e-mail me I’m on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • trixy

    Hello,
    I work in a assisted living house for young adults with learning difficulties who need 24hr care.  I work Friday night 7pm till Sunday morning 10am every other week.  I am alone from 9pm till 10am each night, but do get sleep, although on call if any client wakes etc. Is this legal ?

    • Lesley Furber

       Hi Trixy, I can’t comment on whether this 1: ratio is legal or not I’m
      afraid but the hours you’ve described are probably legal because of the
      type of job you do and because you work shifts.  But I’d need a bit more
      information from you to answer this properly.  Do you get paid for the
      work you do while on-call? If you want to e-mail me I’m on
      workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Trixy

        In answer to your question.   I get paid minimum wage for the sleep shift 11pm -7am regardless of if I get woken or not and £7 for all other hours.  It was just the amount of continuous hours that I was worried about, as a friend of mine said it doesn’t sound legal.  Thank you

        • Lesley Furber

           No problem.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • emma

    hi i work 12h 15m i only get paid for 11.25 i get a 15 min break on a morning and 30 min for lunch depends on how busy it is i will also get 15 min on an afternoon could you please tell me what hours i should be getting paid for also i would like to know about smoking we can only go for a cigarette on breaks but the manager and seniors can go when ever they feel like it is this right 

    • Lesley Furber

       hi Emma, breaks don’t have to be paid (it’s up to your employer) so you only need to be paid for the hours you actually work.  With regards smoking breaks, that is entirely up to your Employer, there is obviously no legal right to a break for smoking; I know that in a lot of Care job staff are unable to smoke at all on the premises.  Hope that helps.  Regards, Lesley, Workline.

  • Angjohnson36

    Hiya, I have been doing night shift where I had to get up and look after the client during the night but could sleep until they woke up this being classed as a waking sleep shift. I generally get paid £6.55 an hour during the week and £6.65  on weekends, When I have received my pay for the “waking sleep” I have been paid less than the minimum wage £5.85 per hour, can they do this, is it legal, I did sleep a few hours but I was woken up quite a few times during the night so I actually was WORKING not SLEEPING. Surely your hourly rate should apply to all hours that are worked. 

    • Lesley Furber

       hi, you need to be paid at least the minimum wage for all the hours you are actually working while on-call/sleep shift.  If you are not working (although you may not be asleep) you do not legally need to be paid for this.  Therefore you need to add up all the hours you were actually working and should be paid for these.  If you have any queries you can e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Tammysmith1978

    Hi, i am a care worker in a home, i was on my break and fell asleep in the staff room for 8 minutes.
    i was instantly dismissed, i appealed but it was up held.
    i was working my last weeks notice period to move to another company but now my old job have reported me to safegaurding, i have informed my new job who have asked to wait and see if the report is put on my file …can you help..where do i legally stand.
    I was working a night shift when i fell asleep
    please help

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi, I’m sorry to hear about this, I’ll reply to you on e-mail as I have some questions! Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Nickeyh

    Hi I am 19 and have been working in my nursing home for 4 years. I had requested to go onto night shift and they agreed but only for maternity cover. The girl is now back from maternity and they have refused to put me back on days. I have a child under two and they told me I cannot request flexible working hours until April 5th. I am contracted 24 hours and work 8-8. Are nursing is is large with three floors I am in work tonight but I am the only female in the whole building which means I have to care for all the female prefrances by myself on all the differant floors. Is it legal for them to do this??

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Nickeyh, I have some questions so I’m going to e-mail you.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Dee

    Hi, I have started a new job in a care home and I do night shifts 8pm – 8am what are the legal breaks and the minimum wage for this? There are only 2 of us on at the night and there’s 30 residents we have do all the cleaning,includingthe kitchen and all the laundry aswell which is cross contamination is this also legal?I am 30yrs old and have only been recieving £6.08 an hr.Kind regards 

    • Lesley Furber

       hi Dee, the national minimum wage is £6.08 and there is no legal requirement for your Employers to pay you more because you work at nights.  You are entitled to a 20 minute rest break if you work over 6 hours, however as you work in a care home and are a shift worker it is likely that you are exempt from needing to have this break legally.  As to whether you should be doing the cleaning etc as well as looking after the residents, I’m afraid that’s something I can’t help you with – it’s more of a care standards question which I am not qualified to answer.  Hope that helps.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Trishamcw

    Hi wonder if you can help I have been offered a job in the private care sector rate of pay £7 ph however they will take 75p per hr of me for holiday fund is this legal

    • Lesley Furber

      hi, thanks for your message.  In effect they are offering you an hourly rate of pay that includes your entitlement to holiday – as long as these are shown seperately (and not ‘rolled-up’ into one rate) on the paperwork/contract you receive and as long as you are earning over the national minimum wage for each hour you work (which is currently £6.08) then this is legal as far as I am aware.  Hope that helps.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Trishamcw

        Hi thanks for your reply I don’t quite understand, I thought that I was entitled to a certain amount of paid leave when I work why am I paying towards my holidays, will my holiday pay be £6.25 ph with the other 75p payed back into the holiday fund? Can I just ask to be paid the £7 ph as advertised and expect to be paid £7 per hr whilst on holiday? There is also a note added that stated an administration fee will be levied at £1.50 per payslip is this legal. I find the whole care sector field a bit of a legal nightmare thanks for your help.

    • Trishamcw

      Hi thanks for your reply I don’t quite understand, I thought that I was entitled to a certain amount of paid leave when I work why am I paying towards my holidays, will my holiday pay be £6.25 ph with the other 75p payed back into the holiday fund? Can I just ask to be paid the £7 ph as advertised and expect to be paid £7 per hr whilst on holiday? There is also a note added that stated an administration fee will be levied at £1.50 per payslip is this legal. I find the whole care sector field a bit of a legal nightmare thanks for your help.

      • Lesley Furber

         hi Trish I’m going to e-mail you.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Tilly

    I have just rang about a care job with Allied who said the training will take afew weeks for which you dont get paid is this legal?

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Tilly I’ve got a couple of questions so I will e-mail you.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • layla

    i work in a supported living house where we look after 5 service users what i would like information on is working alone with no contact recently i had to call on call and it took them 2 hrs 30 minutes to arive nobody checks to see if i am safe whilst alone and i have been alone on some cases for 14hours without contact from anybody to see if i am alright. at weekends my line manager doesnt work so if they is a staff shortage then it is up to who ever is working to get cover or to carry on working .what are the laws regarding being checked on whilst i am alone especially at nights and how long should it take for on call to arrive
    thanks

     

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Layla, thanks for your message.  I’m afraid that I’m not going to be able to help you with your question as it’s a ‘care standards’ question and not related to employment law.  I’m afraid you are going to need to find another organisation who can help you.  Regards and good luck.  Lesley, Workline

  • Markfoston

    Our local authority employer has informed us that the additional hours we work on sleep-in is on top of our contractual hours. They have stated that in relation to the WTR they count as regards the maximum number of hours worked per day (13) and average of 48 over the qualifying period, but not in any other way. We have attempted to align ourselves with the SIMAP and Jaegar case but have been told that this additional time is “time at work” and not “working time”. Our contact does states that we work 37 hours plus sleep-ins but we feel that the implementation of the WTR and how it defines working time may have superseded this. Our employers however continue to state that SIMAP and Jaegar are not applicable in this case, and that there is a difference between contractual and working time.

    Thank you Mark

  • djacks

    Hello
    I work for a small nhs hospital for learning disabilities.The unit was built prior to the working time regulations act and does not have a staff room.Since the introduction of the 20 minute break staff are forced to take their breaks in their car or on the unit if they have no car.Staff were okay with this as there was a meal provided free whilst on duty.however due to cut backs the meals have been stopped.Staff have no where to eat their own food,there is no seperate fridge or cooking facilities for staff to use.Management have said we can use the fridge in the main kitchen and the regen trolley to heat our own meals up,is this legal?As staff think there may be unregulated food being stored alongside patient food.Should the management provide a room away from the work place for the unpaid 20 minute break?Have we the right to decline the 20 minute on the grounds that there is no adequate facilities?The hospital is fairly isolated there is no canteen or vending machines the nearest shop is a garage 20 minutes away!!

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi, thanks for your query.  As far as I am aware there is nothing in the regulations that state the employer must provide a space for the break to take place in (just must ensure the break does not involve any work).  As far as your query regarding food storage etc, that would be more of a health and safety question so you could look at the HSE website to see if there is any advice there.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Sally Nock

    Hi Ya. I’m a community carer. I work split shifts. Always starting at 6:45am. When I have completed a tuck in shift I don’t finish until after 10pm but I start work the next day, as usual!, at 6:45am.

    Is this legal as this works out to less than 9 hours gap between shifts.

    Thank you.

    • Lesley Furber

      HI Sally, if you are a shift worker and work in the care industry it is likely that you are covered by the exemptions (see above) to the daily and weekly rest breaks – so if you are not able to get an 11 hour rest beak this is acceptable as long as you receive ‘compensatory’ rest (for the period of the 11 hours rest that you did not get) as soon as possible, if possible.  If you’ve got any queries you can e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • JAB72

    Hi! I’m a Live in carer. How about our conditions: 24 X 7? Luckily, we’re allowed a 2 hour break. It also depends on the service user’s conditions. I have worked in packages where the service user’s  family do take some care and helps, like for example they take him / her out. Some service users attend a day centre. But many other packages are very difficult to work. You might be in a package where the service user doesn’t or couldn’t go out, his / her family hardly ever visit or are just helpless, non existing. You might end up being the only person that your service user could count on. Sometimes you could hardly have your 2 hour break.  Especially if you end up in a house in the country or a in a small village thus having nowhere to go and to socialize. Most of the times the service user or the social services wouldn’t pay anymore money for any sitting. These conditions are very tough and you would have to give up your own life for a much less than the Minimum Wage pay. When you claim to your company you would be told that a care’s hours are “unmeasured”. I think that sometimes these conditions just don’t comply with the Human Rights! (Modern Slavery?). But if I’m not happy to do it; well, there are thousands of cheap labourers who would just do it!

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi, thanks for your comments.  I do know from all the comments that Workline gets from Carers that some working conditions are exceptionally tough and probably illega.  It’s debatable whether a Carer really has ‘unmeasured’ hours.  Unfortunately, unless you join an appropriate Trade Union or are prepared the take an Employer to an Employment Tribunal for breach of the working time and perhaps national minimum wage regulations then there is little that can be done.

      Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • JAB72

        Thanks Lesley for your reply and help. Yes, one of these days I’m just going to stand up for my rights. I have recently joined a Trade Union.

    • Reni

       Hi , I am a live-in carer as well. My problem is – I do not get 2 hours off per day! I thought there is something wrong with the agency not allowing me time to go out of the house of service user for periods od up to 3 weeks.

      Then I spoke to someone working for another agency and they said they get 2 h off each day, and they can go out. I have done some research and found out about Working Time Regulations, but also the ‘unmeasured work’. I told my employer I want to speak about it and tomorrow 2 people are coming from the office to ‘explain’ to me, that yes, the agency complies with the Working Time Regulations.

       Looks like someone in the comapny thougt about it so they can hide behind the ‘unmeasured hours’. But then , why other agencies say the carer mus, by law, have aminimum of 2 hours off per day, some say, preferably away from the client’s house, and if working 7 days – a consecutive period of 8 hours (1 day) off.

      • JAB72

        Hi Reni.

        Do you think that your agency’s office people are going to tell you that you are right? I strongly recommend that you follow what Mr Lesley Furber suggested me to do in his reply. Start by joining a Trades Union. Tomorrow just listen to your office people and then do your homework. Good Luck!

        • Lesley Furber

          Hi again JAB, thanks for that – I am a lady though (apparently!)….. Regards, Lesley

          • JAB72

            I apologize!! I must have taken that for granted! In the country where I come from I got some male mates with that name! Sorry again!!

      • Lesley Furber

        hi Reni, thanks for your message.  There is no requirement under the Working Time Regulations for a 2 hour break in your circumstances as far as I am aware although there are obviously rest break provisions which apply in certain circumstances (see above) – it is debatable whether Carers can be included under ‘unmeasured hours’.  What does your contract actually say? You can e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Lezp75

    im currently working for a care home and they are going to be cutting our hours down even more over the next week they are saying that there are going to be periods of time when we will be on our own working in the home i just wanted to know if this was allowed cause i didn’t think you could be on you own in a care home with no other staff

    • Lesley Furber

       hi Lezp, I’m afraid I don’t know the answer to this as it’s a care standards (local authority?) issue – I would imagine it can’t be right but I’m afraid you will need to find another organisation who can help you.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Sue

    I only get paid the hourly rate for the actual minutes spent in the clients home ( I log in and out to a voip-track number) The time travelling in between is not counted as working so not paid. On average I have to be out and about for 8 hrs to receive approx 4 hrs pay. There is a “visit premium” paid but this is impossible to calculate (and therefore check) I was once told that it is paid for the travel time between clients and the maximum is 6 minutes. More often than not though it takes a lot longer than that. Can you help explain if A) this is correct and b) this is legal.

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Sue, thanks for your query.  You should be paid for travelling time that is in connection to your work, so travelling to clients is included (but not travel to and from your home).  So this is not correct.  However, the ‘visit premium’ is an interesting concept (I’ve not heard of before) – is there any paperwork that explains what this is, as you should ask for some or ask how it is calculated in more detail as 6 minutes does seem to be a very short period of time.  If you want to e-mail me I’m on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • suesquires

        Hi Lesley.

        I’ve spoken to my account department regarding
        visit premium and this is what they told me.

        The premium is 66p per visit mon – fri and 71p per
        visit sat & sun.

        The exceptions are:- If an 8hr shift is with one
        client or if there are 2 clients or 2 seperate calls at one house that follow on
        from each other.

        for example a man and wife both have separate care
        packages.

        or there is a seperate call time for say shopping
        or cleaning.

        So, we DO NOT get paid anything for travelling
        between clients except 25p a mile fuel allowance.

         

        Sue Squires

        • Lesley Furber

          hi Sue, let me have a look at this and I’ll e-mail you back.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Graham G Godwin

    hi i work for a care company who does not allocate me any travelling time between calls i.e start at say mrs jones at 8.00am finish at 9.00am then my next call will start at 9.00am but will be a 10 minute drive away so i am always running behind so end up working into my own time which i do not get paid for. does the company have to allocate me travelling time?
    thanks leanne 

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Leanne, thanks for your query, I’m not sure there is any legislation about regarding allocating you actual time to travel but you should be paid for your time travelling between clients.  If you have any queries you can e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Rachael

    i work for a community care company i have been off on sickness and due back they are now telling me that i have to work the weekend even thou its my weekend off as i was off ill my weekend  do i have the right to refuse to do it 

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Rachael, you will need to read your contract to see what it says about this and if you need to make up the time or they can ask you do to other shifts when they request.  If you have any queries then please e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Lil_kinky01

    Hi,
    I work in supported living. My employer is forcing all employees to do sleep ins. Even though in our contract it states that they are expected and not contracted to do so. My employer is also stating that if we do not do them we will be moved to other services. We will start at 7am finish at 10pm then a sleep in until 6am, then start at 6:45 the next day until 2pm so it’s over 30 hours we work in one go, is this illegal? The reason why I started this job was in my interview they told me sleepins were voluntary. Also as we are so short staffed our employeer is making us come in on our days off to give medication as a lot of the agency staff are not medication trained. We are extremely short staffed we fill about 20 shift with our house staff and there is over 25 shifts which are not filled. Our employeer has even started puttin us all on overtime without even asking us! Please help! Katie

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi, I’m going to e-mail you as I have some queries.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Yra

    Hi,

    I work in care home in Hastings, my manager is giving me hard time because I missed the mandatory training because I’ve been suffering with early stage of my pregnancy.. I’d like to inquire when should be the mandatory training done… I’ve been working there for 2 yrs and 10 months, they just decided to have this done. I can’t help but think that my manager’s aim is to put me in misery so she doesn’t need to pay my maternity entitlement.

    It would really be helpful if you could assist me, thanks.

    Yra

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Yra, you need to read your contract to say what it says about training and when they can hold this etc.  If you want to e-mail me I’m on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Rachael

    i wanted to book two weekends on one begin of june and other mid july for family partysni still have hoildays to take but my employer has said im to swap as cant book weekends off as company short staff can they do this 

    • Lesley Furber

       Hi Rachael, yes your Employer can ask you when to take your holiday or refuse your holiday requests, as long as they give you the appropriate notice to do this (double the time you want off).  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Kate

    Hi, i am working as a community carer, i get paid 50 pence per visit for my travel allowance but not paid anything for the time it takes travelling between clients homes. I am allocated 5 minutes to travel between calls but can often take longer than this due to traffic and other hold ups on the road. Adding up all the 5 minute gaps amounts to over 10 hours per month i am not paid for! I feel this is unfair as travel between calls is part of my job and should be paid for. Could i have some advice please? 

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Kate, thanks for your message.  I had a similar query recently (regarding a travel allowance) and referred it to our lawyers who said the allowance is unlikely to count towards the national minimum wage that you should at least be paid for all the time you spend travelling between clients (not for travel between home and work).  Their advice was to contact the Government Pay Helpline on 0800 917 2368.  If you have any further queries you can e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Maz

    Maz
    I have some concerns regarding my rights regards to Training. I work a 10 hour night shift 9pm till 7am, thses shifts are spread over the week so sometimes i do two, three or four nights in a row & then a day off, my concern is training is being booked inbetween my nightshifts, for example, i picked up some O/T the other night & i worked 5 nights in a row but i was still expected on my 4th night to go in at 2pm till 4.30pm to do training, this would of meant i would come off a night shift go to the training & then come back in that night for a 10 hour shift, this is happening all the time & surely cannot be right, we have also been told if we do not turn up we will be stopped £30. from our wages !!. please help, where do i stand here?. 

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Maz I’m going to e-mail you as I have some queries.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • worried

    Hi
    I work 12 hours night shift in a care home and I am not allowed to leave the premises should my employer provide a hot meal?

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi, I’m not aware there is any legislation that says your Employer has to provide you with a hot meal, but they should provide the facilities for you to heat your own food up – see this information from Health and Safety legislation -  http://www.healthandsafety.co.uk/workphsw.htm   Hope that helps.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Sidonee

    I am a weekend cleaner in a care home – no one has contracts though I have a letter of employment stating my weekend hours. I was put on the rota to work Monday 26th December but didn’t know this until Sunday 25th (I don’t check the rota as I have set days) and did not work it. I then got a letter saying all staff have to cover Christmas (25/26) or New Year (31/1) and I WILL be working 1st Jan 2013, and a new ‘policy’ was issued. The letter said I was told this at interview but it is not in the conditions I was given. If I am emloyed as “Weekend Cleaner” can they make me work in the week?

  • Rachael

    over the last few monthes i have been taken on extra hours for my community care company to help them out but they have been giving me them every week i have started over sleeping and not eating as dont get much time i have spoke to the office and told them i cant keep doing the hours and want to stick to my rota but been told they cant my rota is teas and beds monday all day tuesday off wednesday early and luches thursday and bed friday and every other weekend all day but i am doing all day monday all day tuesday off wednesday early lunches and teas thursday all day friday can my boss keep making me do these hours 

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Rachael, thanks for your message.  Obviously I’m not clear from what you’ve described what hours you are contracted to do or what hours you are actually doing.  First though you need to look at your contract and see what is says about if your Employer can ask you to work extra hours, and if they can do this on a regular basis.  If you have any queries you can e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • dede

    I need your help on where i stand in this situation. I started a job as a support worker. working with a young man who has challenging behavior. I received no training for the job what so ever. Was told at interview I would get training in restraint. But when I got to my first shift they said there wasn’t any and my only defense was to run away and lock myself in a room. I was also told on numerous occasions I would never have to loan work with him. But I was left on my own with him on 3 occasions, the final time he attacked me and i had to lock myself away, he kicked the door in and got to me but i managed to calm him down by phoning the manager. But I still had to carry on with my shift. And I received no follow up call from anyone to check if I or the client were ok. Since learnt that they should have had me sign a lone working contract which I didn’t. 
    I would have been expected to work a 13 hour day then do a sleepin then do another 8 hours in the morning. Ok I would have been sleeping at night (if nothing went wrong in night that is)  but doing long days was ridiculous in that place as you couldn’t have a break as the client was so demanding. 
    I left the job but I am now worried I will not be paid for the 4 shifts I did. What can I do??

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Dede, your previous Employer owes you for the work that you have done, regardless of why you left.  You need to contact them to find out when you will be paid for this.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • dede

        what can i do if I am not paid?. Somebody left just before i did and she told me they still have refused to pay her what she is owed. Theres every chance they will refuse me. 

        • Lesley Furber

          hi Dede, contact them first and if they don’t respond then I would suggest you then go to a Citizens Advice Bureau for advice – ultimately you could take them to an employment Tribunal for non-payment of wages.  Good luck.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Caitlyn

    Hi, i wonder if you can help me. I am a personal assistant who works with two lads with profound learning difficulties. I just want to know what my rights are regarding the following situation… In july the 2 lads r going on holiday with 2 collegues from monday – weds, then me and another collegue have to get the train down to them and take over. We r then with th lads from weds – saturday. I have been told that i will only be getting paid for 48hours of the time that i am away but im actually going to be away for approx 72hours. Then they have said that i will get paid 48 hours and a sleep in allowance of £31 but for only 1 of the nights. Is this right?! Thanks :-)

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Caitlyn, I’m going to reply by e-mail as I have some questions.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Rammy22

    i work in care home and we had a meeting about going on sleep ins none of us agreed but now we have letter saying there going to do it   i only work twenty seven hours so if i do one a week that means i am going to loose 100 a month can they do this x

  • Emzie

    Hi as a carer do i have the right to refuse service to a resident? I will explain why…. 
    We had a new gentleman admitted to our home and on my shift the next day he asked for a bedpan but we do not have them and as he cant walk the only idea i had was to put a pad under his bottom and i explained the situation to him as he has full capacity but he made a complaint about me to my manager the next day saying i was very rude to him and i basically told him to poo himself- which i did not.
    If a resident lacks capacity and makes an allegation that is fine as most of the time they don’t know any better but i will not have a sane man make false allegations about me, so do i actually have the right to refuse to give service on those grounds?

    many thanks,  
    Emma.

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Emma, thanks for your query.  I’m afraid I don’t know the answer to this, you would need to read any policies (or your contract of employment) your Employer has on care-giving, right to refuse and so on as you would expect them to set out details of this.  If they have nothing written down then you need to speak to your Manager or an other appropriate senior person to take their advice on the grounds you could legitimately have to refuse to give care.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Sdb12uk

    Hi. I work night shifts of 11 hours per shift. We only have 2 night staff (me and one other) so with our old manager we worked out that doing a 3 on 3 off rota would be the best pattern for us as its simple and we are both happy with it.
    We get 5.6 weeks annual leave holiday as standard. Nothing extra. For the last year and a bit I have always booked 3 shifts off so 33 hours. Which would give me 9 days off in total.
    We have a new part time manager (ment to do 20 hours a week here, but has been here 3 times in 2 months) she has rejected my latest annual leave request, by saying that it was done wrong and a note on it saying 3 days is being classed as a full working week which is 40 hours. I dont know if she is right about this. Since I have been doing my annual leave the same for so long now, maybe our old manager was just being nice and letting it go ahead. But this lady says we would have more time off work if she lets it happen like that. But if I’m only booking the days I work off surely I am not getting anything extra.

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi,  I wouldn’t have thought she can be correct as you do not just do 3 shifts (33 hours) every 7 day week, the pattern is going to be different to that because you work 3 on/3 off?  The example helps:

      “Calculating leave for shift workers – it’s often easier to work this
      out by the number of shifts you get off – e.g. if you work 4 x 12 hour
      shifts on and then have 4 days off, the average working week is 3.5 x 12
      hour shifts.  So, 5.6 weeks holiday is 5.6 x 3.5 = 19.6 x 12 hour
      shifts holiday entitlement.”

      So in your case – 3 x 11 hour shifts on, 3 days off, the average working week is 3.5 x 11 hours = 38.5 hours (5.6 x 3.5 = 19.6 x 11 hour shifts holiday entitlement.  So to get a 7 day week off you need to take 3.5 shifts off your holiday entitlement which his 38.5 hours).

      Hope that makes sense – if you have any queries you can e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • des

    hello im a night worker in a residential home with 15 residents,could you please tell me how many staff are supposed to be shift please?

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Des, thanks for your message.  I’m afraid I can’t help you – this is a Care Standards issue and not employment law related as such, so you need to do some research elsewhere I’m afraid.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

    • Sdb12uk

      The number of staff will vary Depending on your residents risk assessments. I work in a home with 2 clients. One is on 1:1 and the other is on a 2:1. So in the day. They have to have 3 staff on, but at nights they only have me. They say because the clients are in bed that only one wake staff is needed. Even though when the 2:1 client stays up until 2am which is very often. We technically are breaking risk assessment. Even when the other client wakes to use the toilet and if they both are up at that time. Technically again we are understaffed. But I guess there is some guideline they go by which means they out the minimum on.
      I wouldn’t want to be the only staff with 15 residents. If two incidents happened at the same time it would be very hard to control.

  • Superspam1

    Hi, I am currently in dispute with my employer over night pay. Basically I have returned to work after having a baby and this is my first payslip since starting one might a week. I have worked out that my ‘night rate’ equates to over 60 pence an hour less than my hourly rate through the day.
    When asked about this my employer said that night shifts were paid on a single rate (which is a load of rubbish but anyway) and that it is likely this would be less than my usual hourly rate. Is this legal? It sounds really petty but when I work it put over the year I essentially lose a whole months pay just because of this drop in wages.
    Some help would be greatly appreciated as I don’t want to look an idiot and argue the toss if my employer isn’t actually in the wrong.
    Thanks :)

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi, thanks for your message.  I’m afraid that your Employer is not doing anything wrong as long as you receive at least the national minimum wage for each hour your work (£6.08 per hour currently) – there is no legislation that says you should receive more pay for overtime or night work, even though this if of course common practice.  But do look at your contract of employment and see what it says about rates for day and/or night work and if there are any differences written in your contract.  You can e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk if you have any other questions.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Leeoaks

    Hello, 

    I currently work for a care company.  I am in the process of leaving because they promised me more hours than i am getting. I am on a zero hour contract and there is a training payback clause in my contract.  Luckily i was moving house at the time i got the job and so got my work to write me a predicted salary letter that states I  would be expected to earn £12000, this doc is signed.  They are stating i will owe them £500 for the training, yet they are on ly contracting me for about £7000 as it stands.  would i have a leg to stand on with regards to taking this further?

    Thanks for your help.

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Lee I’m going to e-mail you as I have some questions.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Georgia92

    Hi, i work for an agency doing ‘sleep ins’ from 10pm-7am. I sleep in the clients living room, should I be provided with a bed or somewhere more appropriate to sleep?

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Georgia, thanks for your message.  I’m afraid I don’t know the answer to this is it’s not directly employment law related.  If the care is funded by the local Council you could find the appropriate person to ask there? It’s a care standards related issue that you will need to do more research on.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Kevin Dillon

    Hi, I work one week on, one week off, providing holidays for people with disabilities.  With on-call and travelling time, this means I work 145 hours across the week, including sleeping time.

    Am I entitled to the minimum wage for the 145 hours – I am currently played a flat rate of £400 for the week and have no contract (I have a letter of agreement).  I have calculated that I would be payed £881.60 if I was payed the NMW for all hours worked.  Can you also let me know which category I fall under – is my work classed as shift work or unmeasurable work (and does it carry any special examptions)?

    Thanks,

    Kevin

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Kevin, thanks for your message.  You will only be entitled to the national minimum wage for all the time you are actually working or travelling in connection with work – so if you are on call or sleep time and actually working then you should receive pay for this; if you are on -call or sleeping and not actually doing any work you need not be paid the minimum wage for this.  You may be classed as a shift worker but certainly for the purposes of of the working time regulations it is likely because of the industry that you work in that you would be exempt from the daily and weekly rest break provisions.  If you’ve got any further queries you can e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • K Kheroua

    please could you help ?
    I work with clients to access community resources. I do not have a budget to lay out for paying for busfares when out with clients or paying for activities. My employer  expects me to lay out for it and then the following month Iget it back and the whole cycle starts again…. only it has not happened as I dont have the money to do it.
    With previous employers there was always a petty cash fund to prevent staff from being out of pocket. This was not made clear at the start of my employment and as the project has been redesigned there is no precedent for this. I will be forced to leave my job unless the situation is reviewed… would this be discrimination on the grounds of financial status ( i am a lone parent but every ones situation is relative )

    • LH

      Hi there,

      If you cannot afford it, there should be a petty cash fund to assist with this (under the condition receipts are retained). I would be very suspicious of any employer that blankly refuses to help an employee with work incurred expenses. I advise you to join you union and flag it up with them for further advice. 

      In my opinion this seems like very unprofessional practice.    

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi K, thanks for your query.  Your Employer can obviously choose how they reimburse expenses, either by petty cash or by you claiming expenses – can you talk to them to expect that this is not something you can afford? With regards to whether this is discrimination or now, it”s not certainly one of the ‘protected characteristics’ outlined by the Equality Act, the details are here -  http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/go-freelance-guide/equal-opportunties-and-discrimination-equality-act-2010/

      Hope that helps
      Regards
      Lesley

  • nelly

    hi was wondering if you can shed some light on this im a care worker in the community on a zero hour contract we get paid a set wage every half hourly or hourly depending on the time the call needs so if i do a half hr lunch call and im only there 20 minutes i would be paid for the half hr,,, but now my employers are in the middle of rolling out a new system which will only pay us by the minute !!!! is this even allowed if this is the case then me n my collegues will have our wages slashed in half and  yet my manager has not given us any meetings as of yet to tell us all this surely thy cant do this..

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Nelly, basically your Employer how can choose how they pay you (or work out how much you are paid), as long as they pay at least the national minimum wage for all the time you are working.  However, if they are changing your terms and conditions then they need to consult with you first – see this article for more information -  http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/go-freelance-guide/written-statements-and-contracts/
      If you’ve got any further information you can e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

    • Care worker

      Yes they can. It’s gonna be the law in 2013. All community carers will have a code and will have to signn in and out of clients houses.Why should slack care staff who don’t do much for the poor old clients who can’t do a lot for themselves get paid for doing there full time when they ain’t even there. It’s why abuse and neglect happens…… Coz people are only in it for the money.

  • jean parker

    Hi,im a carer in the comunity ,i work from 7am till 3pm daily for 12 days,then 2 days off,is this legal ?

    /

    /

    • theydontcare

       welcome to the world of community care jean! this is a world where the word legal does not exist.The agencies have everything wrapped up and government ignores.Both make money off the hardest working under paid sector there is.check job vacancies,flooded with with jobs like ours.and why? i worked for an agency that was bought out by a well known American group last year.staff were not important enough to be told about this until 6 months later.a letter then went to all care workers to assure us no changes would happen without informing us first.just before christmas last year this multimillion pound group made it a christmas for all carers to remember.They screwed the lot of us out of a weeks pay and more.young mums and dads relying on wages having worked overtime on top of 10 to 15hr days to be paid in as usual only to find a fraction of what was due and some nothing!carers were in tears,as nothing to pay with for ordered prezzies for children.This group had planned its timing a long time ago,who as a careworker can get a solicitor to help between xmas eve and newyear? however multimillion pound companies like thiers will have the best money can buy. working 10-15 hr days back on in 7hrs if lucky to finish on time and travel home.gives roughly about 6hrs sleep if lucky.pay your own fuel cost to do work which amounts to about 1/4 of wage.HM REV laughing as gross wage stops any other financial help!                                                                  careworkers get bad press but pressure and being overworked is down to greedy agencies who make a fortune for services and really have no interest in CARE! welcome once again Jean to the community care world where the word legal does not exist!

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Jean, yes basically this is – any Employer can choose whether you have a minimum of 1 x 24 hour continuous rest in every 7 days or 2 x 24 hours continuous rest in every 14 days.  In your industry though it is possible you would be exempt from needing these breaks.  Hope this answers your question.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Rick

    Hi,

    My employer has been giving me less than my 35 minimum contracted hours per week for months. I get paid for them anyway, but have been concerned about building up a backlog of hours, so I’ve raised this with my manager repeatedly each month, but nothing has been done. Now I’ve been told by HR that I owe these hours and must work them back as overtime. Am I obliged to?

    Richard

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Rick, yes you probably are obliged to – but do you check your contract of employment if you have one to see if it says anything about under-working your contracted hours and what would happen in those circumstances.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Laura spavins

    Hiya I am a house to house care worker I am contacted 16-20 hours a week but I can’t remember the last time I did these hours I have been doing something in the region of 45-65 per week is this legal as I want to do only my contracted hours as I took a part time job for a reason please help as I am really stressed about this now kind regards .

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Laura, you need to look at your contract and see what it says as to whether and how your Employer can ask you to work extra hours (as overtime?) on top of your contracted hours. Are you being paid for the hours? See what your contract says, if you want to e-mail I’m on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Tori2125

    Hi
     i am a care worker and my employers want us to start at 7am and finish at 9.30 pm and start again at 7 am giving me 9 1/2 hours between shifts…is this legal ????

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Tori, yes quite possibly as you are a shift worker and because of the industry you work in you may be exempt from needing a 11 hour rest break between shifts.  However, if you cannot get 11 hours rest you should get ‘compensatory’ rest of the part of the 11 hours you didn’t get, as soon as possible, if possible.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Rex 1981

    Hi, I work as a manager in a day care centre for the elderly with many ailments including dementia etc.
    My contract does not state any working hours. I normally work 8am-4pm (8 hours). When i placed my timesheet in, the owner of the company stated, ”we as the workers must work the applicable hours to make sure the centre runs smoothly, the company cannot pay 8 hours but only 6 hours”  I stated that there was not enough workers to work 6 hours and split the shifts to make sure all roles are met. I was about to leave for the day after working 6 hours, and was told i was not to go home yet as it was not 4pm. When i stated that i have worked 6 hours and if i stayed till 4pm, would i be paid for this? I was told no. The owner stated that ”there are alot of people looking for jobs, and lots willing to work 8 hours and only be paid for 6, if you do not work 8 hours for the pay of six then you may aswell leave”
    Can you please tell me where i stand with this please?
    I need this job, but not willing to work 10 hours unpaid per week (40 hours per month)

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Rex, I’m going to reply by e-mail as I have some questions.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • guest

    i am a care worker travelling house to house. i am contracted to 20 hours however this week have been given 31 hours. This is starting as early as 6 30am, working til 10 30 am and then starting again at 7pm until half 10 pm and then up again to start at 6.30 am is this legal?

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Guest,  yes quite possibly as you are a shift worker and because of the
      industry you work in you may be exempt from needing a 11 hour rest
      break between shifts.  However, if you cannot get 11 hours rest you
      should get ‘compensatory’ rest of the part of the 11 hours you didn’t
      get, as soon as possible, if possible.  It will depend also on what your contract says – whether it says you can be asked to work extra hours above your contracted hours.  Hope that helps.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Dickochris

    Hello, my partner is a care worker, she has just informed me that she has been told she has to work from 5 o’clock in the afternoon on a Sunday until 7 o’clock on the Monday morning. During this period she is not allowed to sleep at any point through the night. Is this allowed?

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi, well there is probably nothing illegal about it but she does need to check her contract to say what it says about her normal hours of work and if these hours can be changed (presuming these aren’t her normal hours?).  If she normally works at night would she normally do this as a sleep-over or not?  You can e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Siobhanwa74

    I am a care worker and work every weekend from 7am too 9.30 pm. I never get ealier finishes in my working weekend and as we have a lot off staff booking a weekend off is nearly impossible. Workers have to wait months,even getting a weekend night off is impossible. I have tried too change my days off but told I am not allowed. i have no time with family or friends and can never get time off too attend family occassions. Should my place off work be operating on a flexi rota?
    also a lot off bullying is happening,bosses have been spoken too countless times but nothing is done. You are made too work with the person who is bullying you.

  • Zerrouk Lyes

    Hi I am security worker and i work on average hours, like 4 days on and 4 days off on 12 hours x day idem at 48 hours x week but the company  just pay employee 44 hours x week plus ask us to give back to the company 9 extra days x years.Can you tell me if this is oraight by low? 

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Zerrouk, do you have a 1 hour unpaid break (or are meant to) per day, as that would explain why you are only being paid for 44 hours per week.  I don’t understand what you mean about giving them 9 days back, can you explain?  My e-mail is workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Zerrouk Lyes

        Hi,Lesley 

        No what the company say is them pay us full 12 hours included breaks,but you can see this is not true.And the 9 nine days we need to give them back them say is for to cover sickness and holidays.I let you know we are in title of 33 days per year  way the extra 8 we have agreement on change bank holidays for extra 8 days on annual leave.The 9 days the company call them over lumps.Regards Lyes

        • Zerrouk Lyes

          Hi,Lesley
          The point is this about the 9 extra days we are required to work and give back to the company, them say for to work 4 days on and 4 days off them still pay us for 52 weeks per year for this reason them say we need to give back 9 days, but for me is not very clear way we work 12 hours shift per day( like start 7 am and finish 7 pm) and on the end of the 4 days we have work 48 hours physical work. But them pay us just for 44 on average hours equal at 191,18 per mounts.Plus them say we work some time 16 days per mounts and some time less . I like to understand in witch way this  contract working for and if for law we really need to work this 9 days. Please let me know way for me is a lot confusion and in mean time if you need more information about this matter let me know. 

          • Lesley Furber

            Hi Zerrouk, I’m afraid I don’t understand any of that – can you e-mail me your contract so I can have a look at it? I’m on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Ripley_joseph

    My name is joseph and i am a live in carer for a lady with ms and bedridden.I have been a live-in carer for 5 years now,and the last 2.1/2 i have done 5 wake in nights and 2 hrs a in the daytime.
    The lady lives in the dinning room and i have her bedroom upstairs.
    But now her daughter and sister who has joint power of attoneys want me to move out with all my things.
    And just sleep over when i work and leave the house when i finish my shifts.

    Part of my job included accomodation heatin and hot water so i only get £6+ and hr instead of double pay for night shifts.

    The lady i look after wants me to stay.

    They want me out by the 14 july.

    What are my rights,and can anyone help me?

    I have looked after the lady for over 8 years now.

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Ripley, I’m going to reply by e-mail as I have some questions.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Debbie

    hi i work night shift in a care home 42 hour contract however i can be made to work for exampel friday sat sun off mon back tue then off till friday woking 36 one week the 48 the next you are only aloued to  work 12 hour shifts 8 to 8 i have asked to drop my hour to 24 so that can attened collage to do nursing howerver was told no i would need to leave and get an other job even though other emploees are aloued their would be no problem covering my shifts my manger was more than happy but home manager said no he will not even let me go on to day shift

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Debbie, your Employer is not obliged to agree to change your hours (it must be a mutual agreement) I’m afraid.  You only have the right to request to work less or different hours if you are covered under the statutory right for flexible working – details here – http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/go-freelance-guide/do-i-have-the-right-to-work-flexible-hours/

      Have you asked why other employees have been allowed to do this?
      Hope that helps
      Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Brinna2

    Hello,I’m a live in carer working for client with dementia. I wanted to find out the number on hours for  my daily break which I’m entitled to as a live in carer? PLEASE HELP

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Brinna, there’s no different entitlement for a live in carer to anyone else, for the number of hours daily break you should receive. Regards, Lesley, Workline

    • Siirisam

      Hi

      By law you must get 2 hours every day in a row

      Hope this helps

  • J A Tomlinson

    Hi. I am a care assistant in the community and I work split shifts. 7am until about 10.15. I was just informed that we now have another service user being added onto the end of the round. Which there for means I wouldn’t finish until 11pm.! Back on again in the morning. I have recently been told that after 10pm I am not insured as a carer. Is this true? I don’t want to tell my office that I’m not willing to do this until I know if its true. Is it correct.? Please please help me! ASAP. Many thanks jess.

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Jess, I’m afraid I can’t help you with this – the insurance that covers you as a carer must come from your Employer so it is them you need to ask.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • victoria

    hi there, im a homecarer for saga homecare, i visit people in their home, i had an accident in january 2011 and had to have 7 months of work becuase i dislocated my knee, i was taken from the clients home to the hospital by ambulance, since then i suffered great pain and recently 7/07/12 had to have an operation on my knee as a result of the injury at work in january 2011, i mentioned briefly to my manager at the time about compansation but she shrugged it off and since then the managers have changed…..and sick pay is ridiculas, at the moment i have to take time of work to revocer from the operation, and later in the year i will have to go through the same operation on my left knee because of the injury to my right knee which put presure on my left knee!
    i know all this seems abit much and i hope you understand, but im just wondering am i entitled to compansation? and if so how do i go about it without work getting all funny with me, im 21 and struggling to pay bills and the rent as i only get paid for what i do!

    my email adress is vlplouise@hotmail.com if anyone can help
     
    kind reguards, vicky x

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Vicky, thanks for your query.  I’m afraid I can’t help you with your question about compensation, it is something that you would need to speak to a Solicitor, that specialises in compensation claims, about.  Good luck.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Vicky Callam@sky.com

    Hi, I’m a support worker and have just seen I’m rota’d to take 2 clients (disabilities and challenging behaviour) with another member of staff (who is not contracted, they use to clean but gradually took on the support worker role) on holiday from 12pm Monday till 2pm Wednesday the 2 clients have very different sleeping patterns. One stays up till midnight and the other gets up at 5am sometimes earlier I’m told I’ll get 28 hours pay for the whole 3 days and 1 sleep in at £30 (which is approx 3 and 1/2 hours) should I not get payed from the moment I’m woken till the time I sleep?
    Thank you vicky

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Vicky I’ve got some questions so I’m going to e-mail you.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Nickymiller1

    hi lesley, i am startin work tomorrow at 7.00am finishing at 9.30am with breaks in between, is it illegal for me start again at 7.00am the following morning

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Nicky, if you’re a Care Worker then possibly yes – you may be exempt from the need for a 11 hour rest break.  But you should receive ‘compensatory’ rest for the part of the 11 hours break you did not get, which you should receive as soon as possible, if possible.  Hope that helps.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Nickymiller1

    i meant 9.30pm

  • Lorrainemeikleham

    Are there any legal requirements as to how many nurses/carers should be working at night? Obviously this will be different for the amount of residents the home may have, so does anyone have any information on the stats?

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Lorraine, I’m afraid I can’t help you, it’s a Care Standards issue, so you need to research this elsewhere.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Jbrooks1

    I work full time and am required to do 24 hour oncall also. Currently if called out I get the 11 hour compensatory rest period but my employer is now trying to enforce this as unpaid time and is insisting that a rostered rest day must be taken after oncall- the oncall period is 9am to 9am, this means that I would be oncall for the first 9 hours of my rostered day off. Is this allowed?

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi, thanks for your query.  There is no need for the 11 hour rest period to be paid (that would be unusual).  With regards to your rostered day off, it’s going to depend how many days off you get a week – legally you are entitled to 1 x 24 hour rest period every 7 days (or 2 x 24 hour rest periods every 14 days), but as a Care Worker you may be exempt from needing to receive this.  If you’ve got any queries you can e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Ben1022

    Hai, I am Ben working for NHS as a support worker. I wish to know is there any law about duty rota. The thing is we getting duty rota for a peirod of  4 weeks and the new set only release a week before the running one finish. This short notice making life miserable so just wonder is there any right for the employes to get their rota in a certain time limit; by uk law or europian law etc…
    thx

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Ben, I’m afraid the answer is no there is nothing in the legislation that I’m aware of regarding the time limits to get rota details.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Abbie

    Hi there, am i within my right to refuse doing a sleep in? Im a lone female supporting 2 guys. one has shown particular interest in me. this guy has been known to make advances at females and also has gone into female staffs bedroom and stood over them whilst sleeping. there is no lock on the door. i’ve given my notice in and was told by my line manager that if i didn’t do it, he would put absent without good reason and would look bad on my reference.
    I’ve been a care worker for a good few years now n always been able to lock myself in the staff sleep room.

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Abbie, this is obviously a difficult situation and it’s always difficult for an employee to refuse to do part of their job.  However, your Employer should only ask you  to do something that is reasonable and safe and if you have good grounds not to do this then that is the argument you would use.  Are you able to have another talk with your manager and explain again your reasons and perhaps you could come to a compromise where you took annual leave instead of refusing to do the shift, or something similar?  Good luck with this.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Lynnkelly

    Hi i work in a care home which was once run by the social services now private all new employees are allowed to work extra hours but old employees are not is this right 

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Lynn, I’d need some more information from you to answer this properly – what is the reason for this and is this written down anywhere (in your contract, any policies etc).  It sounds like there might be a different contract for the newer employees? My e-mail address is workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • lauren

    hello, i am a bank care assistant. i have 2 young children at home with unsettled sleeping and i have had previous health problems with ongoing tests still being carried out present i would appreciate if someone could tell me do i have to do the 12 hour shifts or could i just accept the 6 hour ones (equalin to the same amount of hours in each week)  as they are easier on myself health wise and i am bank staff and i was under the impression i could state if i wasnt happy with the shifts and what i couldnt work not to be told no i have to do them??? help please??

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Lauren, you need to read your contract to see what it says about what obligation your Employer has to offer you shifts and what obligation you are under to accept shifts that are offered and whether you can refuse them.  You can e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk if you have any questions when you have read your contract.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Deborahflude

    should live in carers pay national insurance? do live in carers have any rights?

  • Lisa

    Hi, I work as a bank staff carer for a home care company going to people’s houses. I was told when I started that I would be permenant back shift, on my first week I went and spoke to my boss and explained that I couldn’t work back shift on a Saturday because of family commitments and he agreed to this and made the change. This worked out well until someone else decided to change it without discussing or giving me notice. I don’t quite know what the bank staff rights are but I know that contracts and changes to contracts can be verbal which is what I thought it was. (ot was explained at the interview that bank staff are under no obligation to take hours or get given hours) I only seem to be bank staff when it suits them but if try and turn down a shift I get told I’m just like every other member of staff. When I try to turn down the Saturday shift they threaten me with loosing my job! I have tried to explain that I don’t want to turn down the shift I would work the morning or am extra shift through the week. I don’t know what to do. Can you help me please.
    Thanks

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Lisa, it would be really helpful I could see a copy of your contract to see what obligations you have to the company and what obligations they have to you (e.g. offering and accepting work) – you can send it to me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Lisa

        Hi Lesley I don’t have a written contract at all as I am “bank staff” I was told at my interview that I was under no obligation to take or get given hours but I have found this is generally not the case.

        • Lesley Furber

          Hi Lisa, thanks for that – that does put you in a difficult situation.  If you were of the opinion that neither party were under any obligations to each other (to offer or accept work) then one option is to refuse the work, but obviously that will put you in a difficult situation.  It may well be that you really are a ‘worker’ – see more details here -  http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/resources/am-i-an-employee-self-employed-freelance-or-a-worker/ which means both parties have obligations to each other and you have more employment rights.  Do you want to e-mail me when you’ve read through those details.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Francesca

    Hi there.
    I am a ‘Support Worker’ i.e. a care assitant who visits clients homes for 15, 30, 45, 60 and 90 minutes at a time and I travel in my own car in between clients. I signed my contract a little over a month ago and although it states my working hours as ‘As and when required’ I was assured I would get all the hours I wanted, which in general has been the case. I get paid £6.08 per hour for all training and shadowing and £6.50 per hour for all care work, as well as 25p per mile travelling (after initial commute and home commute)…all this is fairly standard and what I expected. What I did not expect however is that I don’t get paid for any time at all other than when I am actually with a client. Therefore if I had the following calls to make: 08:00-08:30, 08:45-09:00, 09:15-10:00, 11:00-11:15, I will only be paid for 1 hour 45 minutes, although I will have been working from 08:00 until 11:15 which is 3 hours 15 minutes. I think that this is wrong and is certainly unsustainable for me as I pay for childcare of two children when I am working (at about £5.65 an hour). Please could someone advise me if my employers can legally do this and what my rights are. As I am currently losing money and can’t afford to work like this even supplementing with the odd evening/weekend.
    Many thanks
    Francesca

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Francesca, your Employer must pay you for job -related travel time during normal working hours  (not to, from
      home) and this includes where you are travelling to your next client if
      this is an integral part of your job, except if
      you are on a rest break.  This includes time waiting to meet someone in
      connection with your work.  Unfortunately your query is very common amongst care workers as it appears many Employers are not complying with the national minimum wage legislation here.  Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Jaynewiggett@hotmail.co.uk

    Hi… Hope you can advise. Are rotas classed as contractual hours for the week dated ?
    I receive my rota which may have 30 hours but if a client cancels or goes into respite / hospital my hours will decrease. My employer will still get paid for these calls but say I don’t as I havnt done the work which in my point of view isn’t my fault. I would love to know my rights and challenge them
    Regards J

    • Kate

       I work as a community carer and get treated exactly the same, had a cancellation this morning given 1 hours notice, the company will get paid but i don’t.

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Jayne, thanks for your query – it’s going to depend what contractual hours are written into your contract (as these should not be reduced) and what your contract and the rota’s say about the hours you are put down for; there may be a description in both/either documents about what hours you are expected to work or could work. If you want to e-mail me with any further information I’m no workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Tracyannewood

    Hi, hope you can help…..I work in private care home….I currently work 36 hours as 3 x 12 hour day shifts….from 8 am to 8pm…..I have been informed that next week I will have to work from 7 in the morning until 9 at night until further notice due to a shortage of bank staff…..do I have a right to refuse to work the extra hours….I have four children and nowhere to put them from half 6 in the morning until half 9 at night. In my contract it states only that I am required to work extra hours if needed to cover staff on annual leave.
    Many thanks
    Tracy

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Tracyanne, is that the only option your contract gives (covering staff on annual leave)? Does your Employer use bank staff only to cover annual leave or uses them generally all the time? You can e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Tracyannewood

        Hi Lesley,in regards to working extra you’re then yes that is the only option given in my contract, the problem at work is that my boss has decided we need extra staff on in the morning from 7-8 and in the evening from 8-9,he held a staff meeting and asked us how we would feel about working a longer shift,as most of us are mothers and we feel that 12 hours is a long enough shift to pay child care for, we all voted no. However when we checked the rota for next week without consulting us he has put us on 13 or 14 hour shifts. At present we don’t have any bank staff, he is advertising but not many people will want a job for just 1 or 2 hours a day, so we have been told we have no choice but to work the extra hours. My child care facility does not open until 7.30 am so there is absolutely no way I can get to work before 8. I’ve worked there for 6 years and it seems unfair that I will probably end up having disciplinarys because I can’t work unreasonable hours.

  • Jon Hannah

    Hi there. I work as a salaried support worker who is due to commence sleepover shifts, of which i am contesting with my trade union as breaking the WTD and the NMW law. My shift will consist of starting at 12pm and supporting 2 individuals until i go to another individual’s house at 5pm where i support him until 11pm. He then goes to sleep until 8am. I leave his home at 9am and then carry out support with another 2 individuals until i am finally finished my shift at 12pm(24hrs after my shift began). Am i entitled to claim expenses for meals/subsistence and is there any law which states that a 24hr shift is illegal, bearing in mind that sleepover shifts are counted as working time under European law.
    Thanks very much in anticipation of your reply Lesley.

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Jon, there is nothing that I am aware of that says a 24 hour shift is illegal.  As you work in the Care Industry you are possibly exempt from the need to have the daily rest break of 11 hours and other rest braks (although should receive the rest you did not get as ‘compensatory’ rest as soon as possible afterwards).  All the time you spend on sleep-overs/on-calls is counted as  working time for the purposes of calculating your weekly working hours (see above re Opting Out of the 48 hours weekly working limit and also the ‘reference’ period your weekly working hours are averaged over).  However, only the time you spend on sleep-overs/on-calls where you are actually working counts as hours of work that must be paid the National Minimum wage.

      So, you need to look at your total weekly working hours (and average working hours over the applicable reference period).  I’m afraid I can’t comments on expenses as that’s not my field.  If you’ve got any queries then you can e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Famousyork

    Hi wonder if u can help. I do community support work. I had to do my NVQ2 in my own time without pay & recently a medication course without pay. I know there is another one they want me to do soon which each time they say I have to do as its a legal requirement. Am I right in thinking that if my employer requires me to do any form of training they should pay me? Many thanks. Sue

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Sue, they are referring to the fact that it is a legal requirement for you to have these qualifications to do your job I presume?  You would expect an Employer to pay for training they require you to do,
      but there is no law that I am aware of that requires this.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Karen Phillips

    Hi, I need some advice. I have been working for a domiciliary care company as a Field Care Supervisor. My contracted hours are 40 per week. I have been used as a bank care worker for the 11 weeks I have been employed but still expected to make at least 450 client visits per week, which has been completely unachievable. My first months pay was late and had no tax or NI deducted which resulted in the following months pay being deducted by an extra £200, with a further deduction in July’s wages to cover their mistake. I was also only paid £800 which included £100 petrol allowance, which was also tax deducted.  In ten weeks, I held an on call phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and the reason I was given for the low rate of wages was because I had not done enough hours of Field Care duties, this has proved to be impossible as I spend every day covering care calls.  I have also raised issues of poor practice by poorly trained care workers, which has gone uninvestigated and the care workers are still working??  I have now had the company care taken off me and I’m being ‘frozen’ out by the MD and have been given no work at all.  I attempted to report my concerns to CQC but they were not willing to get involved unless I made my concerns known in writing to the MD, which I have done but I doubt very much that I will get a reply as she has a habit of taking work off staff who challenge bad practice.  I am desperate to do my job but unable to with no car and no contact from the agency.  Where do I go from here, I have also contacted ACAS but they have said the same, I cannot afford to not work, I have bills to pay. I’m very concerned about many of the clients I visit and serious concerns over bad practice by care workers who are not given a proper induction and sent out to clients homes with little or no experience.
    Please, can some one help me

    Karen Phillips

  • Karen Phillips

    I would also like to add, that I am supposed to get 15p per mile travel allowance, in my first 10 weeks of employment I was averaging 250-350 miles a week but up till now, I’ve been given £65 cash and £106 in my wages which due to an error by the MD’s son who does the wages, was taxed.  I believe I am owed at least £300 which I am not likely to get. I received a rota of care calls last week and was expected to cover calls for 7 days, I would also be expected to carry out field care duties on top of this. I am desperate. I’m exhausted driving around to clients, leaving my house at 6.30 some mornings and not getting home until 9.30, sometimes 10 at night, with only short breaks in between lunch, tea and bed calls. I can’t afford to keep coming home in between due to the cost of petrol and regularly have to find somewhere to sit and eat in between calls. I had five days off recently, as I had accrued 2 holidays and had three lieu days due to working bank holidays, because the care workers who don’t drive could not get to their calls, so I was expected to cover them, when I put the holiday request in, I was told I was only being paid for the 2 days until I read my contract out to the MD which stated that I would get toil for the bank holidays. I really feel like I’ve made a fool of and I dont think I will ever get the money I’m owed

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Karen, I’m going to reply by e-mail.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Karen Phillips

        Thank you for responding so quickly. I sent an email to the MD yesterday, as I was advised to make written contact with her.  I will explain more when I reply through private email. Karen

        • Lesley Furber

          Hi, I’ve e-mailed you but I’ve had an e-mail non-delivery message – can you e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk and I’ll forward on my initial questions to you.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • sarah

    hi I wonder if anyone can help me, I have just started a job as a support worker, for adults with learning disabilities, I am a single mum and will rely on working tax credits to make up my money, I am contracted 18 hours a week, I am extremely upset as I have been misguided about my hours, when I took the job I was told that I would start  one day and finish the next day in 24 hours, my mum would stay at my house and have my son, who’s 7, i assumed I would be home the next morning, it was my second shift today, while training I am doing 9-5, one of the girls were doing the rotas and I looked at it to see that I was doing 5 till 10 and then 7 till 5 the next day and the sleep in were not contracted, baring in mind two of the clients are mentally ill and up making noise most of the night these hours are also only 15 hours a week, and I need 16 to get tax credits,she said that I would have to make the hours up somewhere in the month, this is not what i wanted, it has to fit around my child care.I will be doing the sleep in for nothing which is an extra 8 hours, the girls get £24 for this, but because I get working tax credits I wont be payed anything at all. What can I do about this, have I any rights. I don’t see how I can do sleep ins and leave my son for no payment its not worth my while, I have been misled completely, I don’t want to go back on job seekers,  but I am very disappointed about this, and have turned down other jobs for this one, and waited 4 months to start it, what can i do. Can they do this. Sarah

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Sarah, I’m going to reply by e-mail as I have some questions.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Rachaeljones21x

    hi i just need a bit of advice i was working with an other career yesterday and when we got to a client she had a bowel movement in her pad and was in a bit of a mess but this happens regular and the other client spoke to her in a very aggressive and foul manner i dont no weather or not i should report this back to the office 

    • Rachaeljones21x

      meant other carer 

      • Lesley Furber

        Hi sorry Rachael, I’ve only just seen this extra comment.  I can see this will put you in a difficult situation so perhaps wait to see if it happens again and then you could report it as it has happened more than once? Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Andi

         Hi Rachel, you do need to report this because it is abuse. You have a duty of care to the client under the law which means you need to report incidents like this regardless of what your employer’s policy is.

        I realize that this puts you in an awkward position but this care worker may also be behaving like this with other clients (many of whom may not be able to stand up for themselves) and you are in a position to help to stop them.

        If you would like some independent advice on the matter you can contact the Care Quality Commission on 03000 616161.

        Good luck! :)

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Rachael, I’m afraid I can’t help you with this – you need to speak to your Employer or Manager to find out what type of issues/incidences they expect you to report.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • nams

    Hi i have recently joined a carer agency who seem to be very good. My pay is a standard £77 a day. I have just had my first  client for about 7 days now. The first two days where a nightmare as she woke up 7 or 8 times at night.Which meant i was basically working 24 hours.I told my agency and they have organized some day shift cover( and the clients family and friends come over and help too) . So i basically sleep during the day and work at night.My hours are 8pm till 8am(when the other carer arrives) Before is stared my shift for this evening i asked my client if there was anything that she wanted from the grocery store.As the @38f65ed5d4e7b276759cebcc07ae0237:disqus ay shift carer was going to get a few things on her way to work in the morning. My client responded by saying(‘no that is your responsibility not hers’) To not cause an argument i just agreed. But i am then working during my work break. Meaning that after a 12 hour night shift i will be working 20 or 30 minutes more into my OWN time. I dont want to sound like a penny pincher but the client needs to relieaze that as soon as the day carer arrives (i am on my break) If she needs me to do something during my hours of work then that is fine(as long as i can get someone to watch her whilst i am gone). What should i do???? I need to make it clear to her.She has just made a hip replacement but i think is showing signs of mild dementia too.I have organized to speak with my care manger  tomorrow as i dont think i can handle this client any more. She is way too demanding and difficult to deal with.Any suggestions please???? I would like to stay with her for as long as im needed but she must understand that i am not doing grocery shopping,pharmacy runs or anything of a sort when my shift with her is over.I need to rest. This is my first placement with the agency and i dont want to sound like a nag all the time ,but with the amount that i get paid it is not worth my time to go over my hours .even if its just for a few minutes over. 

    Many Thanks

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi, I’m going to reply by e-mail as I have some questions.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Sjfarrell88

    I work as a support worker, supporting 1 individual in a supported living environment. I work day shifts + sleep in shifts. We regularly take our client on holidays. 2 staff members are required to take our client on holiday. When we take our client away my company only pays us for half of the sleep in shifts that we do. e.g. 4 nights away, 2 members of staff, get paidfor 2 sleep in shifts, even though we are doing 4 each. Is this legal? 
    Thank you for reading

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Sjf, well the only thing in law about pay is that you must be paid at least the national minimum wage for all the hours you work; there is nothing specified about payments for overtime/on-call/sleep-ins.  You should get paid for all the time you are awake and working during a sleep-in shift but there is no legal requirement for anything else.  Hope that helps.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Sandy

    I would like some advice, please.
    I am a live-in home carer, and obviously get a daily rate, in addition to a small fee which is charged, should I get disturbed at night by the client.
    In the last 24 hours, my agency has agreed with the clients family, (who are slightly concerned about the number of “night-calls”, and therefore the cost) that  the night-call charge won’t be raised by the carer, and instead, the carer can have an extra few hours off during the day, to catch up on sleep.
    My question , really, is about whether a carer can be denied being paid for work done, and I wonder if a couple of hours extra sleep, constitutes a fair remuneration.
    With thanks, Sandy

    • Lesley Furber

      HI Sandy, thanks for your question.  Well, it’s partly going to depend on what your contract says with the agency about what you will be paid for, and also, the National Minimum Wage legislation says that you must be paid at least the national minimum wage (currently £6.08) for all the hours you actually work.  So if you can work out the total hours you work and see if you are receiving at least the NMW for all of these.  I presume that when you get the extra time off during the day you are in effect being paid for this time as normal?  You can e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Traceyfranks

    I work as a community support worker,my hours vary from week to week,but regularly start at 6.45 with a two hour break then a further shift that finishes around 9.45pm. I have asked my employer about the 11 hour break rule but have been told that it does not count as because “there are a number of special circumstances in which the entitelment to rest periods does not apply, for example where there is a need for continuity of service or production”.
    What is meant by “ special circumstances”  I veiw it as something different or unusual and not something that happens on a regular basis ! Your opinion please.
    I should mention that recently following several long days ,and becoming very tired I crashed my car.

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Tracey, thanks for your message.  Your Employer is correct, although they may not have explained it correctly by calling it a ‘special circumstance’, it is in fact an exemption to the Working Time Regulations – you can read about this in the article above – that means if you work in an industry where there is a need for continuity of service or production then you are exempt from needing the daily rest breaks.

      Hope that explains the situation.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Rachel evans

    hi I work as a senior carer in a residential unit. I normally work 12 hour night shifts of which i only get paid 11hrs. I think this is unfair as i cannot leave the building during my shift and i have to be in charge as i have only 2 carers with me. i therefore am legally obliged and contracted to be in charge for the whole 12 hr shift. why should i lose the 1hr which they say is a dinner break when i could potentially get called to any issue during the whole period?

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Rachel, thanks for your message.  It may seem unfair but unless they are breaking the National Minimum Wage laws (i.e. you must be paid the national minimum wage for all the hours you work which is currently £6.08 per hour) then there is nothing to stop this happening.  Breaks are usually unpaid – although obviously you aren’t getting your full hour’s break – and employers can ask you to work extra time and not receive pay for this if this is written into your contract and it is not breaking the national minimum wage laws.

      Hope that helps.  If you’ve got any questions then you can e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor:disqus .co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • rach

    we have just took on a new client that is a big package witch now means we have to start at 7am and wont get any breaks till we finish for the day at 11pm can they do this

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi Rach, yes possibly, if you work in the Care Industry it’s probably likely you are exempt from needing the 20 minute rest break you should get if you work over 6 hours. Regards, Lesley

  • louise

    I have been a homecare/ support worker for 6 months now and recently they have had me working from 7am till 11pm nearly every day, i have to walk it there and back wich takes 45 minutes as there are no buses to that area from my home. They have been having me work before and past my availability without even asking me and when i complain about this they do nothing about it. Also i am currently pregnant and about 4 weeks ago i had severe morning sickness and could not leave a public toilet for approx 40 minutes and so i phoned my on call line manager asking if i could go home as i also nearly passed out and they told me to suck it up and get on with it. Is this allowed and also what rights do i have with only being with this employer for 6 months. I love my job it’s just the people i work for are making it impossible for me to do my job properly. I feel like they do not care about my health and safety as well as the service users health and safety due to my unfit state at that moment in time. It has got to the point the doctor insisted on giving me a sick note for a month to give me a rest. Also they do not give walking time sometimes so we are having to rush from call to call and not spending our full time in calls. Is this ilegal as i sometimes ignore the walking time to spend my full time with service users yet i get yelled at by my boss for being late to calls for doing this.
    thanx

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi Louise, I’m going to reply by e-mail. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Bella

    I work for a domicillary care agency and have been told i can’t take any holiday until there is no one else off, this means i can’t have any holiday until Nivember. Is this right? Also am i able to turn down work ? I am on a zero hours contract and we recieve a rota of work to do every week

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi Bella, yes your Employer can ask you when or when not to take leave but they should ensure you get the chance to take your leave entitlement each year. Re, turning down work, it’s going to depend how your contract is worded but if you are on a zero hours contract it should be possible. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • karen

    hi i am a night carer doing both awake and sleep in shifts. when i do a sleep in we have to sleep on a blow up bed on the floor of the homes dinning room. at my interview i was led to believe there would a room, but this isnt the case. what are my rights on this?

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi Karen, that’s a good question. I would have thought the sleeping arrangements should be ‘appropriate’ but I don’t know – I’ll see if I can find out any more information about this next week. Regards for now, Lesley, Workline

  • Roy67

    Hello can anyone tell me please my contract states 37.5 hours per week on a 7.5 hour per day but I find myself doing between 9+10 per shift can I refuse to work more than 7.5

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi, you need to look at your contract to see if it says you can be required to work more hours above the 37.5 per week. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Roy67

        Hi , no it states 37.5 per week over 5 days.

  • dale hill

    Hi, I’m a support worker looking after autistic adults. I’m due to go on holiday with one of the guys; a ferry trip to Amsterdam. The shift will begin 10am Monday morning, until around 10am Wednesday morning, so effectively 48 hours. The company are paying me 34 hours for this. How can they do this? I appreciate that there are 2 sleeping nights, but I’m still ‘at work’ in a supporting role. And there’s no guarentee that the guy will want to go to bed, in which case I will have to support him.
    Thanks
    Dale

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi Dale, sorry for the delay in replying (think the comments section was playing up last week as there were no notifications!). You will need to work out how many hours you have actually worked. The national minimum wage only needs to be paid for the hours you actually work (including when you are on-call, only the hours when you actually work need to be paid for). Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • May

    Hi, I work as a mental health support worker.. I twice a week have to do sleep overs after a 12 hour shift and. An often be woken up for numerous reasons some easily dealt with but others such as dealing with a flood, supporting a lady to hospital, I’m told unless I’m awake for over 4 consecutive hours I’m not entitled to any waking hourly pay, we get just 24 pound to sleepover and sometimes can be expected to stay 6 hrs the next day too, if I go home because I’m tired it’s classed as unauthorised leave, can they do this ? Mayo

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi Mayo, sorry for the delay in replying (think the comments section was playing up last week as there were no notifications!). You are entitled to pay (under the national minimum wage legislation) for all the time you are actually working while on-call/sleeping-in – the £24 sleepover pay would be included in this though. So you would need to work out what hours you are actually working at night and calculate what you should be paid. Re the extra work/unauthorised leave, that’s going to partly depend on what your contract says about what hours you work you are expected to do (how it’s described). If your contract does describe those extra hours as hours you need to work, then yes it would be classed as unauthorised leave. Hope that helps – if you have any queries you can e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • May

    Just like to add during the flood after evacuating the building and making safe I had to wait for the company’s Approved workmen to arrive being awake in sleep time from 4.20 am and starting working day at 8 am.. So frustrating when this happens

  • Simon Jay

    Should a care company expect you as a career to use your own car to ferry clients to a from shops like a free taxi ?

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi Simon, I’m afraid I can’t answer that – you need to see what your contract says. I think it’s fairly normal but that’s not my area I’m afraid. I’m sure there must be some insurance implications though? Regards, Lesley, Workine

  • angie

    hi i need some advice please ! i am working as a home care worker and i am not a driver but the company is making me pay petrol money to each driver everytime they pick me up from the nearest pick up point but they claim this back from the tax office as far as i know ,also the workers have turned up at my front door telling me that i have to work on my days off and i feel that i am being bullied and intimitaded into working i am extrmley unhappy and dont know what to do and would like some advise please as my manager is not willing to listen to my issues and i feel that i should quit as the work atmosphere is horrible .

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi Angie, do you have a contract. I guess what your’e saying is that you get taken by someone else to your jobs? In that case someone has to pay the petrol money, it’s either going to be you, the driver or the company. What does your contract say about it? If you’re paying the petrol money then it’s possible you may also be able to get some tax advantage on this – I’m afraid I dont’ know, you could ring the HMRC to ask them if your company is not listening to you. Have you asked the other carers if this is the norm?

      Your Manager should be the person who is asking you to work on your day’s off. If your Manager is not listening to you (do they have a Manager themselves, i.e. more senior, you could talk to?) then you could put in a grievance (but this may not be something you want to do or will serve any purpose). Other than that, unless you have grounds to take a case to an employment tribunal, then there you may have no choice but to resign.

      If you want to e-mail me I’m on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.
      Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • lostanima

    Hi, I work at a Nursing home, do I have the right to refuse to work a shift if there are not enough staff to cover the floor. E.g. Myself (permanent staff) and 2 agency staff for a 23 bed Home?

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi, I’m afraid I can’t comment on how many staff should be covering in such a situation (it’s a Care Standard issue I suspect and one I’m not familiar with and also probably a Health and safety issue) – but in terms of refusing to work a shift you need to see what it says in your contract about the hours you are required to work. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Allan

    Hi, my 20 year old daughter works as a care worker in the community and I am concerned about her working hours. I am aware that parts of the working time directive do not apply to her but I am concerned that her health is being put at risk. She works virtually every day of the week (off on a Wednesday afternoon) but on a Thursday she has her first call at 7.30am and then works for most of the day (with a couple of 30 minute periods when she has no clients) and finishes around 6.30pm. She then has a night shift from 9.00pm to 8.00am and has now been told that she is not allowed to grab any sleep and must stay awake all night. She gets home around 9.00am has a shower and then has to work all day (again with a couple of 30 minute breaks as she has no clients) eventually finishing at around 6.00pm. She has the night off and is back to work at 7.30 on a Saturday morning, has a few hours off in the afternoon and back to a further night shift with Sunday as a sleep day which the company class as her day off. Is this legal? Is she not entitled to a full day off and, more importantly, a few hours sleep on a Friday. She has voiced her concerns to the company but they are not interested. I have told her to leave but she enjoys her job. Thanks

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi Allan thanks for your question… It quite possibly is legal. Government advice is that she should have 90 hours rest per week, does she get that? You can e-mail me on lesley@workline.org.uk if you have any further questions. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • http://www.facebook.com/heggartie Heggartie Blonde

    hi, I am a support worker and get paid an hourly rate, however if I cover for a colleague ie sick holiday training my employer pays me a lot less per hour ( it is still above nmw though) this does not seem fair to me as I still do the same work and am more experienced and qualified than my colleagues. Can they do this?

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      HI yes they can if it says they can in your contract. The only thing they have to do is pay you at least the national minimum wage for all the hours you work. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • John Jones

    The only job I think I can get is care work travelling to clients homes. But the two companies I contacted said that they do not pay travel time between clients, but pay about 25p a mile for petrol. This means that I will be working over an 8 hour period for less than the minimum wage, as two hours of that time will be spent travelling.
    I thought that not paying for business travel time between jobs was illegal?

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      hi John, it is! If your travel is job related during working hours then it must be paid at least the National Minimum wage. I get this query all the time and I have no idea how the companies get away with it I’m afraid (basically because people have no choice but to accept the situation I guess!). Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Skye

    I am a support worker with adults with learning disabilities & other mental health problems, when I had my interview I told them I didn’t want to work nights & was told this wasn’t a problem as they had dedicated night staff, now they keep trying to tell me I have to do nights as it is in my contract to do so & they keep putting me down for nights, I haven’t signed a contract which they said I had, I’ve asked them to send me a copy so I can see it. can they make me do nights? I’ve worked for this company for 6 months

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi Skye, if it is in your contract that you must do nights and you have signed it then that is going to put you a difficult situation as you will be obliged to do this. Are you able to have a conversation with them to explain why you cannot work nights and see if they will be flexible? Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Skye

        That’s the trouble I haven’t signed a permanent contract, & I’m sure I haven’t signed any other contract, I’ve asked them to send me a copy of it so I can see it but they won’t send one, I’ve also tried phoning my boss but she won’t return my calls or answer her phone, so I don’t know what to do about it now, any ideas? thanks Skye

        • Lesley Furber, Workline

          Hi Skye well you have a right to a written statement of terms of conditions of employment within 3 months of starting your job so they are breaking the law here. You could write them a letter explaining the situation and confirming why you do not want to do nights. Unfortunately it’s going to depend on their reaction, if you refuse to do nights they could accuse you of breaching your contract, you could end up going around in circles really. You need to make a decision about whether you are prepared to stick to your guns and say no to nights, knowing you may lose your job, or agree to do the nights basically. You could take your Employer to an Employment Tribunal for not providing you with a Statement of terms and conditions but I expect this is not something you will want to do. Good luck, Lesley, Workline

  • lyn

    i work as a care worker on the late shift we finish at 10pm ,should there be an 11 hour minimum rest period before starting the next morning we are starting again after a 10 hour and 9 and a half hour rest period

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi Lyn, because of the industry you work in and because you are probably a shift worker then that means you are exempt from needing to have the 11 hour rest break. However, if you do not get a full 11 hours rest between shifts then you should receive the portion of the 11 hours you did not get, as ‘compensatory’ rest as soon as possible. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Sucio26

    Hi, I’ve worked in the care home for 25 years, mostly night shift. I work 11.5 hours with a paid break. More staff is required on the floor and now we are not getting our paid break and reducing our hours to 10.5. Is this right?

  • annonomous

    work for a company that provides 24 hour care in the community for a tetraplegic ventilated client, was a team of 7 compitant staff and now only 3 compintant staff and 3 new members of staff providing 24 hour care with 2 people on days 1 wake night and 1 sleeper just lately with annual leave and sickness the compitant has worked a wake night no one comes the next day they are effectively being held hostage then the wake night goes down again and they are made to work 36 hours at some point they become uncompitant and jepadise the clients care is this legal

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      It’s going to depend exactly how many hours you are working in a week, and how much rest you are actually getting and what your contract says about the hours of work you can be asked to do. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • jade

    Hiya,3 weeks a go I started a job in a dementia 24 hour care home I work 12 hour shifts & 4 time a week with 3 days of which it states in my contract I have got next seek timetable and I’m working Friday Saturday Sundays weds Thursday Friday Sundays is this too many hours? Also I have had no training experience with dementia and I was left with 13 residents on my own for 1 hr??

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi Jade, it’s probably ok in terms of hours (if you have signed an Opt Out of the 48 hour working week) as you have got 3 days off during that run of days. With regards to training, I’m afraid that’s a Care Standards issue and not one I can answer – the Care Quality Commission website (and they have a helpline) is at http://www.cqc.org.uk . They require standards for staff training and require that ‘sufficient’ staff are available to care for patients/clients, although they do not specify what number ‘sufficient’ is, it depends on the circumstances. Hope that helps, regards, Lesley, Workline

  • gemma

    Hi, I work in a dementia residential home. I am a night worker and work 12 hour shifts on the same minimum wage as day staff and I only get paid for 11 hours as we are deducted 1 hour break even tho on nights ther is only 2 staff so you can’t have a proper break and can’t leave the building. Is it legal that they don’t pay us the 12 hours?

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi Gemma, it’s quite normal for Employers not to pay for your breaks and that is legal. However, under the national minimum wage legislation you should be paid at least the minimum wage for all the hours you work, so you should get paid for the exact time that you work. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • sian

    Hi, my daughter is a support worker on a 1-1 basis, recently she has been suspended due to the pova law, all that she has done is shave her client with a bic zaor as the electric one would not work, she was called in today for a meeting and told that a letter had been sent to pova and that she was suspended on full pay until further notice. The shaving was practised by all members of the house, please could you give me some advise,

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi Sian, I’m afraid I don’t know what the pova law is, so I dont’ know exactly what she has done wrong, but I assume it’s health and safety/hygiene/personal care provision related? If she has been suspended then she should be called for a disciplinary hearing; at that hearing she should make it clear that the practice is carried out by other members of the staff and that there was no alternative to her actions. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • jules

    noticed you replied by e.mail to a carer wanting to know what i am quereing. i too am a home care assistant with a private company and am required to work 12 days on and 2 off, i.e every 2nd weekend. is this legal,

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi Jules, yes it sounds legal. Your Employer should allow you 1 x 24 hour continuous rest period in every 7 days or 2 x 24 hours continuous rest in every 14 days (but as a Carer you may be exempt from needing these rest breaks anyway because of the industry you work in). Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • rach

    hi i work as community care worker im full time ans im the only one that dont have a licence i never when thay took me on we have just got some new staff and my hours have been dropped i did ask for a monday morning off as i was doing it as extra for them but they have also took monday bed and friday teas and beds of me as well as the odd shift here and there without asking me i did ask and got a snotty reply of i did ask for my hours to be dropped and with me not driving they have to put me where they can can they do this and what is my options

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      hi Rach, it’s going to depend on what your contract says about the amount of hours you are employed to work for (is there a minimum or not?) and whether this can be changed or not. If you have a full-time contract and they have reduced your hours then they are in effect changing your terms and conditions, which they can do. But they must consult with you about this – you can read more about this here – http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/go-freelance-guide/written-statements-and-contracts/
      Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • annon

    HI i was just wondering i work nights from 8-8 and my manager put me on 6 nights out of 7 i have no written contract but have left many letters saying i cannot do that many and she’s even putting me on my weekends off – what are my rights?

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi Annon, if you don’t have a contract it’s going to depend what was agreed when you started in terms of how many shifts you would be doing a week. You should legally have a contract after 2 months in the job if you are a worker/employee. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Jools

    My husband works for a Care Home providing support for adults with learning difficulties and severe mental health issues and challenging behaviour. He works 12 hour waking night shifts. He worked a 12 hour shift last night (9pm – 9am) and at 9am is expected to undertake “training” which may last 4 – 6 hours. he is then expected to work a further 12 hour shift starting 9pm tonight. Is this legal? Bearing in mind he will also have to drive home after the night shift and training, having had no sleep?

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi Jools, unfortunately it is quite probably legal because the industry/job he works in probably makes him exempt from needing the daily/weekly rest breaks. He should have at least 90 hours rest a week though. You say “training”, are you saying this is actually work? Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Michelle

    Hi Lesley, I am just considering becoming a care worker and wondered if you think I should get paid for travelling between clients homes and also if I can claim back the petrol for travelling between clients. Also if there is a break between appointments should I be paid.

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi Michelle you should be paid for travelling between clients homes. If you are taking a break then this does not have to be paid. Yes, I think you can claim back for petrol but you would need to speak to the HMRC about that and how to set it up. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • hanna.

    what rights have i got to simply refuse going to a call as i worry for my own health and safety after complaining a number of times nothing has been done and i’m hurting my back continuing to work in these circumstances.

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi Hanna, thanks for your message. I’m afraid there is no straight answer to this – it’s going to partly depend on what your contract says about the hours you are expected to work and whether you would be refusing to work something you are contracted to do. That could be seen as breach of contract and your Employer could discipline you for that. Of course your Employer has to consider your own health and safety but the reality of that may be something different as you know. Have you considered seeing your GP and see what they suggest – I know that may not go down well with your Employer probably but they will then see a medical opinion. I guess you’re going to need to make a difficult decision about what you need to do. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Bluechelsea

    Hello please can you clarify when staff travelling to clients own homes should be paid the NMW and when this is not applicable? Staff are paid by the minute when they are in clients homes and paid a travel allowence of 35 p per mile but are not actually paid “travelling time”.. Could you also clarify whether staff who take clients out in their cars for example to the supermarket need to have business insurance on the car insurance policies or not by Law? If they dont have this could it mean that if they have an accident with a client in the car and the client is injured they may be open to legal action by the client/or their family or does a normal insurance policy cover the driver? Does the policy need by Law to say ” Used in conjunction with the Drivers business” or words to that effect.

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi, I’m going to reply to you by e-mail. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Andrew

    Hello, i am a male care assistant in a residential care home, we have more females than actual males, i am wondering is it legal for 2 males to be on shift together, i have been told by few people that 2 males cannot work together providing personal care to both male and female service users, but 2 females can, i just want this to be clarified.

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi Andrew, I’m afraid I can’t help you with this as it’s a Care Standards issue – see the paragraph above about the Care Quality Commission and their contact details. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • shanni

    Hi i work and 11 hour night shift which finishes at 7.45 am, can my employer make me come back in at 9am for a compulsary training session. My night shift requires me to be awake for the whole night.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Shanni, yes they possibly can do this as you work in the Care Industry I presume, which would make you likely to be exempt from the need for a 11 hour rest break. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • ck00

    Hi I have a friend who is a senior care worker in a residential home, on a 30hr contract

    *I’m wondering what the regulations are for working night and day shifts within one week. As it is not healthy for the body she is getting 2 days off as standard work regs, but the amalgamation of night, day, late evening shifts in a week period is making her ill, and could effect her work eg(administering medications) COULD YOU HELP PLEASE.

    * The other thing is by the looks of her rota’s she seems to be the only one doing this kind of mixture.

    *As she works night shifts but also days, is she entitled to the health check? as it is 2 nights plus a week and has been over the 2 month period would that allow her to be classed regularly working nights in the eyes of a court???

    *Also she has worked this job for a year now and a month ago cretin staff have been informing the home manager that she hasn’t done cretin things that effect residents health, not like her at all. she informs me that those staff never came to her with these issues in the first place.

    if it is because of the shift patterns and illness (and this is proved, staff rota and doc’s) would this protect her if she has to leave the job due to bullying, or could it be classed as wrongful dismissal, if she was “let go”.

    I really would like to help her out. Please could you point me in the direction I need to be looking. thank you for your time.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Ck, there are no regulations as far as I’m aware about mixing night and day shifts within a week, but see the information about Night Working above. The regulations say that you must work 3 hours a night regularly, to be a night worker, but is no more specific than that I’m afraid. I’m afraid I dont’ really understand the last starred paragraph and your question. If she has done something wrong then she can be disciplined and/or dismissed because of this but they should take all the factors into consideration. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • debra cash

    Hi Lesley. my foster son works for a care home.he has no contract and no written declaration of terms of employment. he regularly works over 200hours a month but has never been asked to sign an opt out form. his hours are regularly 9 to 12 hour shifts where he is acting senior on shift, beng responsible for the safety of the homes residents and the distribution of medicines. very often his shifts are 6pm to 7am, or 10pm to 10am with a “normal” shift being 9pm till 7am, although he may have to return to the home during the day for staff meetings or to see his NVQ advisor so he is usually very tired.he is very concerned because as every carer in the home except management are paid a flat rate of £6-20 per hour so most of them won’t do nights. this is worse from his point of view as the front door of the home is left unlocked at night, many other locks are broken so security is almost non existent.

    Thankfully when there was an emergency on night shift he did not panic as senior staff could not be contacted. Many of the rooms also have no heating. He went to this job so he could look after people but has seen many staff leave because of the conditions. He talks to me about the problems at work because he says management don’t listen and are just looking for someone to blame all the time. he says he feels he is being taken advantage of and is also unhappy about how residents are treated. How can I find information regarding his rights for him as they dont provide these at work.

  • debra cash

    Hi Lesley. my foster son works for a care home.he has no contract and no written declaration of terms of employment. he regularly works over 200hours a month but has never been asked to sign an opt out form. his hours are regularly 9 to 12 hour shifts where he is acting senior on shift, beng responsible for the safety of the homes residents and the distribution of medicines. very often his shifts are 6pm to 7am, or 10pm to 10am with a “normal” shift being 9pm till 7am, although he may have to return to the home during the day for staff meetings or to see his NVQ advisor so he is usually very tired.he is very concerned because as every carer in the home except management are paid a flat rate of £6-20 per hour so most of them won’t do nights. this is worse from his point of view as the front door of the home is left unlocked at night, many other locks are broken so security is almost non existent.

    Thankfully when there was an emergency on night shift he did not panic as senior staff could not be contacted. Many of the rooms also have no heating. He went to this job so he could look after people but has seen many staff leave because of the conditions. He talks to me about the problems at work because he says management don’t listen and are just looking for someone to blame all the time. he says he feels he is being taken advantage of and is also unhappy about how residents are treated. How can I find information regarding his rights for him as they dont provide these at work.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Debra I’m going to reply by e-mail as I have some questions. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Jane

    Hi, can I refuse to assist with personal care to a particularly violent elderly male client? I work night shifts in a nursing home for the elderly and we have to do personal care at least 3x overnight as he is doubly incontinent, the problem arises when we have to wake him to change his pad. It takes all staff members on shift to do this and we have all been physically assaulted as well as verbally abused, his mobility is very good and he is able to punch, kick, scratch, bite, slap, headbutt and spit, resulting in several minor injuries each time. This behaviour is not just down to dementia as he has always had what his family describe as a ‘temper’, and an apparent contempt towards all women. We have started documenting each incident, but all of us nursing and care staff are of the opinion the home is not suitable for him, and are also worried about the safety of other more vulnerable residents. We have asked during training sessions for advice but the trainer had no answers, and our manager doesn’t seem that worried although we have voiced all concerns. I have to admit to being afraid of him now and the thought of going to see him fills me with dread. Where do I stand on refusing to attend to him, and can this be seen as neglect?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Jane, thanks for your message. This is obviously a very difficult situation and I’m not sure I’ve got a definite answer for you. I’m afraid I don’t have knowledge about how Care Homes should deal with difficult/violent clients – you could have a look at the Care Quality Commission website (details in the last paragraph of this article above) and they have a helpline. With regards to your employment though, if you refuse to attend him you could be seen as being of breach of your contract of employment by not carrying out your job duties. Your Employer, however, has to take steps to protect your Health and Safety. You really need to speak to your Manager again, as many of you that can, to say that you are very concerned about everybodys’ safety and give the Manager the details of each incident and explain that you are reluctant to provide care to the client and see what the Manager says. Good luck with this. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • joanne

    hello, i would like some help with my rights please. my boss asked me on the friday to attend training on the weds and i couldnt attend so they said i will now have to pay for it. is this right? it is my day off to. also are wages are 6.69ph and then we get 27p holiday pay put into this but are actual pay is less than the new minimal wage so how does that work? as we do not get paid for having a holiday as they say it is in our wages. please help thanks x

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Joanne, I’m going to reply by e-mail as I have some questions. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • disqus_oYY5Zkj3JR

    Hi my name is emma and I think I’m being ripped off by my bosses. I travel sometimes 100 miles a day and I’m only being paid 15p per mile,im a community carer for a private company how do I find out what I should be getting??

  • http://www.facebook.com/charlotte.unwin.5 Charlotte Unwin

    Hi, I’ve been working with my care company (which is working in clients homes) for over a year and so far I am still doing ridiculous amounts of ‘mandatory’ training which my boss does not compensate for and we can obviously only complete it outside of work hours. I wouldn’t mind but because I only do about 10 hours a week, I’m ending up doing at least an extra few hours unpaid every month just in training. And whenever we have to travel to the office for work courses or meetings etc, those are also unpaid. Is this normal???!

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Charlotte, it’s certainly something I hear about a lot in the Care Industry. You need to check what your contract of employment says about the training you are required to do and if this would be paid. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • http://twitter.com/samclayton10 sam clayton

    I’d like to know what my rights are as a dom carer and visiting the homes of smokers. It seem that around 75% of my working day is spent in smokers homes. As smoking is now banned in the work place, why are we not paid extra for putting our health at risk? If I refused to visit smoking clients then my hours would be dramatically reduced and this is not an option for me.

    • lesleyfurber

      HI Sam, thanks for your message, but I’m afraid I can’t help you with this one. I thought that under the smoking legislation people in their own homes have to stop smoking some time before they receive a visit, but I’m afraid I don’t know any more about this as it’s not strictly employment related legislation. I would advise that you search for the details of the smoking legislation on the internet. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • http://www.facebook.com/hugh.palmer1 Hugh Palmer

    My wife works part time three days (22.5 hours) a week and the agreed days are Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. She has (contractually) to undertake on-call on some nights. When she gets called on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday night, in she has to take compensatory (EU WTD) rest the next day, but then has to make up this time as the enforced rest period occurs when she would normally be working. So she has to go in and work on days she would not normally work to make up this time. This seem fundamentally unjust to me, and I am struggling to find any solution to this situation. I hope you can help. Cheers, Hugh

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Hugh, thanks for your message. If this is explained in her contract (i.e. that she will need to make up the time for the rest period at other times) then that is what she has agreed to work. If you’ve got any further questions you can e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Maja

    Hello
    I work as a flexicare scheme care worker. Is it leagal to forbid to speak foreign language in a staff room between to workers having private conversation? We use english everywhere. On two occasions we had private conversation in the staff room and where told to use only english.

    • lesleyfurber

      HI Maja, I’m going to reply to you by e-mail as there is an article I was reading about this recently and I just need to dig it out and then I can send you the information. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • sage

    hi there wonder if u can help my mum works in a residentual mental health home, her employer hasnt got a set rota and sometimes only tells my mum of her next shift the day before its due to happen, some times shes given two days notice but never anything set in stone, what the legal requirement to time allowances when setting rota days surely the evening before isnt adiquate

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Sage, thanks for your message. As far as I’m aware there are no legal requirements for this type of thing. Does she have a contract and does that say anything about it (as if it did the Employer needs to keep to that). Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • disqus_Ur4ZYDrxTP

    I work in a residential home for dementia patients . i have been on nite duty since 4 months , i was working 3 nites in a row and on the third nite i didnt get my break had to look after my resident , i accidently fell asleep for 10 minutes , how would i be displined

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi, are you asking if you will be disciplined or what you might be disciplined for? Let me now. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • http://www.facebook.com/digger.landers Digger Landers

    Hi, my wife has started to work as a live in carer, doing various overnights.
    This week she is doing from 9.10 am monday morning until 9.10 Friday morning.
    She is being paid £65 for each 24 hours , and is not aloud to leave the house….surely this cant be legal

    • lesleyfurber

      hi Digger, it’s going to depend how she is employed. If she is employed on a ‘unmeasured work’ basis this may be ok – please see the details above under Pay/unmeasured hours. If she is not employed in this way but on a time basis then she would not be paid if she was not working. If you need any more information you can e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • liz anderson

    hi , wondering if you can tell me what the ratio for nite shift is ? i work nights with 20 residents with dementia , in a care home , not nursing . i have an in house on call i can get assistance from if needed for emergencies only , sometimes its very hard work ..

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Guest, I’m afraid I can’t help you with this. See the Care Standards paragraph at the bottom of this article though as that tells you where to find out such information. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • sarah

    Hi,i work in a busy nursing home.The care assistants are constantly working extra shifts to cover sickness,we asked for a small monetary bonus for these extra shifts and were told no.I recently discovered that the nurses get time+1/4 for any extra shifts. Is this fair? We carers feel discriminated against because we don’t have a ‘pin’ number,many thanks

    • lesleyfurber

      hi Sarah, thanks for your message. Are you saying you dont’ get paid at all to work these shifts, or you don’t get extra pay for the shifts? You need to be paid at least the national minimum wage for all the hours you work, but there is nothing in legislation that says you need to get extra pay for extra shifts/overtime etc. I’m afraid I don’t know what you mean by a ‘pin’ number. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Lita Hancock

    I work a 12 hour sleeping night shift I get £45 for this it equates to 5 .5 hours pay is this legal ? One night a resident was ill I was up for 4 hours extra tending to them I got an extra £15 for this is this legal? My hourly rate is £8. My employer says a night shift only equates to 5.5 hours I was trying to claim a benefit but don’t qualify for the hours even though I am out of my house and in the work place over 30 hours can I say I am working over 30 hours or do I have to say it is only 3 x 5.5 hours. Also all my Xmas shifts were cancelled because the residents are going away I am not getting paid for any of these is this correct, in the past I have always been paid at Christmas. I have been asked to do an !8 hour shift in the New Year 3pm tp 9pm then 9pm to 9am the night shift is a sleeping night work is done early morning and late evening on this shift.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Lita, basically you need to paid at least the national minimum wage for all the time you spend working while on a sleep shift/on call. You do not need to be paid the NMW if you are not working. I’m afraid I can’t help you re the benefit as I little knowledge about that. With regards to your Christmas shifts, it’s going to depend how you are employed – do you have a set number of hours per week to work, or you are employed on a ‘zero’ hours contract? ; and also how your contract describes how many hours of work you can be offered and/or should work normally. You can e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • disqus_ERprHhjy5n

    Hi I’m a carer in the home and want to no that on my day off am I aloud to take them out or shopping ,I would be doing it free & not getting paid thanks.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi, are you saying you want to take out some residents shopping on your day off? It’s something you will need to ask your Employer if they are happy for you to do that. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • mathew bishop

    hi i am an asst manager in a care home contracted to 40 hours a week but end up doing more because it states in my contract overtime expected i would just like to know how many hours overtime my boss can make me do a week as this week im doing 56 hours
    thanks matt

    • Ryan S

      I honestly don’t think anyone can make you do any overtime? I might be wrong but as far as I’m concerned as long as you complete your contracted hours the rest is your choice!

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Matthew, there is no legal limit to overtime as far as I am aware (and if your contract says then that is allowed). You should however have been asked to sign an Opt out if you agree to work more than 48 hours per week. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Ryan S

    Ok so I am currently on my waking nights mon-Thursday 22:00-07:39 when I got home this morning I got woke up with a call from work saying we have all been summoned to head office tomorrow for individual meetings, do they have to give me so much notice? I left my house at 20:30 to get the bus to work to start at 10pm (I’m here now) I will finish at 07:39 and have been asked to wait here until 10am to be taken by other staff to head office, I have no way of getting home from head office and told my area manager I need £10 for my taxi, his reply was I will pay up to £5! Do I really have to attend as its in my own time where as other staff are going in shift time

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Ryan, thanks for your message. It’s very likely that your contract will be worded to cover this situation, but the meeting should be counted as part of your working time. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • janeen

    Hi I am a care worker. I sometimes work 90 hours a week. I have signed an opt out agreement. At night times I can sleep and may only get up once or twice in the night to care for the user. I am paid minimum wages and during the night when I am not working I am paid less than the minimum wages at £4.20. I have a zero hours contract which I think is wrong because I do regular work and my employer pays PAYE. My employer is now saying I do unmeasured work and they are going to withdraw payments when I am asleep at night. Is this correct? I think they are breaching working time regulations. thanks

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Janeen – if you are genuinely doing ‘unmeasured’ work (which is defined as you work
      when required to work and there are no specified hours, carrying out
      contractual duties for a flat rate, e.g. a home carer who lives and
      works in a clients home before having a break and receives a one-off,
      flat rate payment) then the situation is as follows – Determining for what hours you should receive the NMW
      is difficult unless you are employed on a ‘daily average hours agreement’,
      which is an agreement in writing between a worker and an employer which
      determines the average daily number of hours the worker is likely to
      spend on their duties – and for these hours the NMW should be paid.
      Workers who have entered into a ‘daily hours agreement’ do not have to
      be paid the minimum wage for each hour worked, but they must be paid the
      minimum wage, on average, for the time worked in their pay ‘reference’
      period. This ‘reference’ period is the period of time a worker’s wage
      is actually calculated, e.g. on a weekly or monthly basis, but cannot be
      longer than one calendar month. Alternatively, where a worker has not
      entered into a ‘daily hours agreement’ but is employed in unmeasured
      work, their employer must record the hours they work during the pay
      reference period, and pay them for every hour worked.

      If you are not employed in unmeasured work but are employed in salaried or time work then you should receive at least the National Minimum Wage for all the hours you are actually working.

      This is about the Minimum Wage and not the Working Time Regulations. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • rachel

    Hi there, I need some advice.. I am a care worker in the community, on a zero hour contract.. i applied for a holiday day which was granted to me then when i recieved my rota for the week the holiday day was my only day off for that week, surely i should have at least one other normal rest day? Also should i be paid for mandatory training courses being held in office hours

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Rachel, yes holiday entitlement cannot be substituted for a rest day. However, as a care worker you may be exempt from needing the weekly rest day of 1 x 24 hour period (or 2 x 24 hour period in 14 days). Does your contract say anything about how many rest days you will get a week? Re the training you should be paid for this during normal office hours but again check what your contract says.
      Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • stacey

    Hi, I work for a young lady in her own home on 12 hour shifts as a personal care assistant. On some occassions I am very busy with the tasks she has asked me to do and feel exhausted due to not yet eaten. There is no set breaks and I can only eat when she no longer needs me. On some occassions i will have made my lunch and she has asked me to do something else i.e. make her a drink. This then can make my food go cold or i have to watch the cat so she doesn’t eat it. Am i entitled to a break? She needs 24 hour personal care. I have also had to carry out tasks such as painting her walls, climb ladders, invite gentlemen in who she has been talking to online, write incorrect times of taken medication to hide from her mother (manager), allow her to smoke cannabis etc. I feel very vulnerable in this position and don’t no where i stand. Do i have to do this if she is my boss on my contract?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Stacey, thanks for your message. When you say her mother is the manager, do you mean your manager? Or the Manager of the lady’s care? If you feel that you are being asked to do things that are not related to her personal care then can you discuss this with her mother? Your contract probably has a clause that requires you to do any tasks that are ‘reasonable’ (or something similar), but you need to agree what these tasks are. With regard to the break, you should have a 20 minute rest break if you work over 6 hours but as a care worker you may be exempt from this. I hope that helps – you can e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk if you have any questions. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • jackie

    Hi Im a Care Worker and I work at a Care Home I did a 12 hour shift from 8pm-8am and I only got paid from 8pm-12am as the Boss insisted it was a sleeping duty.In terms of Care Home work what pay should I be recieving ?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Jackie, you should receive at least the national minimum wage for all the hours you work. If you were asleep and not working during the night then you do not legally have to be paid for this. If you did work during the night then you should be paid for the work you did. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=534150456 Kate Hoy

    Hi,

    We had a full-time live-in carer from a private company looking after my grandmother. The lady (who is wonderful) worked 3 weeks on, one week off, and is on a zero-hour contract with the company that employs here. I don’t know any further details of her contract. The carer has not taken any of her holiday entitlement over the past year (she didn’t want to leave my grandmother), and has accrued 5 weeks holiday that she’s been told she has to take before April (fair enough). My grandmother passed away recently, and the carer has been told that she has to take her holiday now if the company cannot find her another placement. This seems unfair to me, but I’m not sure if it’s just unfair, or illegal. Any advice? Thanks

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Kate, thanks for your message. From what you have described that seems fair enough; I presume the company that employs her has told her to do this. The law on carry-over leave is slightly complicated so I won’t go into the details here as I’m not 100% sure whether it is the carer who is unhappy with this situation or you?. If you have any more questions you can e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk. Regards for now, Lesley, Workline

  • ks

    Hi i work in a care home and do 9am to 8pm shits and 10am till 10pm then sleep over and do 7am till 9am after sleep, a room is provided upstairs at back end of a corridor which if there was a fire would put myself at risk? It also isnt very pleasant as used to be a bathroom has a smell to it and also other members hygeine is not very pleasant so other option is to sleep on sofa in living area with disruptions.. manager has said we HAVE to use sleep i room provided? Where do i stand? Also our breaks we are entitled to are in the dining room while service isers are present so are often put off our meals or interupted can you help please

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi KS, this is a Care Standards issue really so please see the paragraph above about the Care Quality Commission who may be able to help you. With regard to your second query regarding your day off, it will depend at what time you start work again and what total hours of work you are doing a week. You should have 1 x 24 hour rest period away from work each week (although many Care Workers will be exempt from this) – or 2 x 24 hours consecutive rest away from work in each 14 days. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • ks

    Also after sleep in at 9am when we finish after being there from 10am thw previous morbing it is classed as OUR day off but some weeks u can do 3 sleeps so my only “days off” i wake up at work which spome to manager about and he states its a full day off..

  • Simone smith

    I do live in care what is the league break if you do a 24 hour shift .

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Simone, as a care worker you are possibly exempt from the legal right of a 20 minute break if you work over 6 hours and a 11 hour rest between shifts. But if you are exempt from needing these then you should receive the rest that you didn’t get from these entitlements, as ‘compensatory’ rest as soon as possible. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • lee

    i really need help, asap, ive been working 4 sleeping nights with on call, and this starts at 10pm till 8am, i then carry on with day shift 8am to 10pm and then do the sleep in, i work this on my own mostly at weekends from 11am until 7am the next day, i expressed my concerns now they have taken all my hours of me, and ive got my 13 week probationary today, what can i do they may want to get rid of me… help someone

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Lee, I’m going to reply to you by e-mail. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • lee

    forfot to say i work for an independent living with extra care scheme with forty residents

  • L Scott

    Hi
    I have a query regarding home care
    I have worked for the same agency for round 5 years.
    The company has stopped paying their care staff when a client cancels a visits with less than 24 hours notice.
    The company is still paid by the council or clients (if private) but they are not passing on this payment to their staff, despite the fact that it means the carer now has a gap and is not offered another client to fill that slot.
    They have until recently paid for short notice cancels, there is nothing in our contracts regarding this but I feel sure they can’t just stop paying like this, does custom and practice not apply in this situation ?

  • Shell

    Hi. I have just taken a job as a support worker, hours to be worked locally , but they have put me in supported living. i have explained that i am not comfortable being one on one with the client as i do not feel that i have the experience needed and could possibly put the client at risk.. I also explained that due to a car accident my driving confidence has plummeted to the extent that i had to have counceling to get back on the road. I would not want to put client at risk for this reason. I have spoken to my managers and they are not listening to me. i have only been doing this job for four weeks, Need advice please

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Shell, thanks for your message. You need to look at your contract (if you have one) to see how it describes the job you do and how/where it is done and whether your contract says you can be moved to a different job. If you have any queries you can e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • disqus_bJsjYDpAbq

    HI,iam a support worker working 3.30pm-11pm, sleeping in then 7am- 2pm the following day. I am regularly woken up during the sleep in by one gentleman, shouting and neeeding to be taken to the toilet. Often only having a few hours. Should my employer be paying me. Also where do i stand having to work the next day with little sleep, i have to drive the clients to appointments, My employer has just told us to record how long we are awake for.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi, your Employer should pay you, at least the national minimum wage, for all the work you do while you are on a ‘sleeping’ shift. As a Care Worker you are likely to be exempt for the need for the daily rest period; you need to work out the total hours you are working over a weekly basis ,have you signed an Opt Out to agree to working more than 48 hours per week? If you have any questions you can e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.
      Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • dkwhiteley@live.co.uk

    Hia Im worried about my mother-in-law she works with mentally challaged adults and I feel she is weaing herself out again, she had to give up work for 6months due to ill health and cant sleep without the help of sleeping tables prescribed by her GP. She has now had to go back to work and she is contracted to 16 hours work a week, her shirfts are all over the shop and her avarage week is around 42 hours during this she is working 2-3 Sleep in shifts, but as she cant sleep due to not being able to take her medication , this is really affecting her. When we ask her about this she thinks its ok as they dont count the sleep in nights, so she is only realy working he 16 hours. Is this correct or are they taking advantage, as she is at her permant place of work

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi, thanks for your message. It is correct that only the hours she works during a sleep-in shift are counted for pay (under the National Minimum Wage legislation; hours not working are not counted) but all the hours she is on a sleep-in at the work-place (whether working or sleeping) are counted as working hours. So in effect she is working more hours than she is contracted for – that is not in itself a problem if she is happy with that and it is under the Working Time Regulations limit of 48 hours per week (although she can Opt Out of those hours if she wishes to work more). None of that of course addresses her health issues and that is something her Employer should take seriously, although I’m aware that many Employers do not. If you’ve got any more queries then please let me know. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Guest

    Hi my sister is an agency care worker in the client’s home. She is pregnant and told her agency straight away. The agency then changed her weekly working pattern without consultation and have said that she can only arrange antenatal appointments to take place on her day off.

    She has also complained that she is frightened of the client’s son who harrasses her by smacking her bottom and by waiting in the dark for her after work but the agency ignore this.

    Is there anything she can do?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Guest, re the antenatal appointments, if your sister is an employee of the agency then her Employer is obliged to provide her with paid time off for ante-natal appointments. The Employer can ask the employee to make their antenatal appointments outside of normal working
      hours but should bear in mind that most women will have very little control
      over the day or time of appointments. She would be entitled to take the time off during
      working hours if it is not possible or reasonable to arrange the appointment
      outside her normal working hours. With regards to changing her working pattern – it really depends what they have done, have they changed her hours of work or changed her pattern ? And it’s going to depend what her contract allows in terms of those changes. Employers have a duty to consider the health and safety of pregnant employees so they may have done this on those grounds? Re the client’s son, is he a young child?

      Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • kim

    hi there i work as a support worker,, normal work -pattern is 2pm-2pm the next day, technically a 24hr shift, from 1am until 8am is classed as sleepover, but if the client requires assistamce we are there, lately my company has started sending staff to work elsewhere from 7.30am until 2pm, ihave questioned this and basically got branded a troublemaker, bu ti dont think it can be legal to go start a shift elsewhere aftergoing to bed at 1am

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Kim, if you are a care worker then you are probably exempt from the daily rest break provisions (although should receive the rest you did not receive as ‘compensatory’ rest at another point), so this is probably ok. You would need to work at the total working hours/patterns over a period of time and what total rest you get. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • saima

    hi les iam working one of the nursinghome nights 48 hours no break and another nursing home i am working nights 33 hours 1 hour break so i am working in row 7 nighjt regulerly i am 31 years old woman i am aways active at work healthy my collegues like work with me i am hard working i am doing my work ver well and doing better then others so now my one of the nursing home manger start giveing me problem u cant be work in row i will do this and that so i want to know its ok or not working like that

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Salma you do generally need to have at least a 24 hour rest break in every 7 days (or 48 hours in every 14 days) so the nursing manager is correct to say that. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • sarah

    does my company have to pay me for training while i am on shift (just done 12 hr shift 4hrs spent training was told i was not getting payed for the 4hrs training)

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Sarah, yes you should be paid for work relating training during your working hours. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • http://www.facebook.com/phil.garwood.12 Phil Garwood

    Hi my girlfriend is working as a carer she dosent get paid travel between clients are you saying she should get paid or it depends what it says in her contract because she has been in the job for 3 weeks and all the money she has earnt so far has gone on fuel and they dont pay milage, her bed shift she sees 3 clients and travels 47 miles.
    Thanks
    Phil

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Phil, yes she should be paid for the travel time between clients as it is done in relation to her job. She doesn’t need to be paid for travel between work and home. Hope that helps, regards, Lesley, Workline

      • gags1966@btinternet.com

        Thank you Lesley, I’m sorry to be a pain but it seems that a lot of carer company’s are doing the same thing by not paying for travel between clients why are these company’s doing what they like and getting away with it what can we do to stop this? My partner is doing a 16 hr day only getting paid for 9 hr and a 1/3 of that is spent on fuel so she is working well below the minimum wage.

        • lesleyfurber

          hi Phi, yes unfortunately it does appear that lots of carer companies are doing this. You can find out information on what mileage allowance she should receive here on the HMRC website here http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/mileage/

          I’m afraid the options are limited – if the Company won’t listen and won’t pay for legitimate travel time then she can either look for another job that treats her properly or she could make a claim to an Employment Tribunal for non-payment of the national minimum wage. Not good choices I know.

          Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Lucy

    Hi there. I am a Senior Care Worker at a Children’s Residential Home.

    In my contract it says that I have to do overtime to cover sickness where reasonable. I am rota’d to do 230 hours (169 – contracted) in March and have been told I have to work on a 10am-10pm shift. With working Friday 8am-10pm, On call Saturday, shift Sunday, 8-slp Monday and 7-5pm Tuesday. I tried to say that I wasn’t going to work it, but got told I had to as it was in my contract. Is this the case? What is reasonable? I am concerned as I worked over 220 hours in Feb and 250 hours in Jan.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Lucy, unfortunately reasonable isn’t defined anywhere so it’s difficult to say. However, if you look at your average working week, are you getting 90 hours rest? The Government Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (previously BERR) has published guidance
      that says a worker, even if they fall into a ‘special case’ categories or are a shift worker (so are exempt from rest breaks),
      must have a right to a minimum of 90 hours rest per week. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Sarah

    Hi I’m at support working an has recently been told that when we have mandatory training you will not get paid for it even if you are on duty that day, me an my work colleague feel this is not right but management keep telling us it’s the law an they don’t need to pay us for it, has any one got any advice as we don’t know where we stand on this matter. We have also been told that if we don’t turn up for this training we will be charged, any advice would be great

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Sarah, if it’s work related training then you should receive your normal pay during this time and I don’t know what they could be referring to when they say it’s the law. They may be able to charge you if you don’t attend, they could write this into your contract. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Terri

    Hello, I work as a care assistant on a zero hour contract. I would like to take some time off however there is no holiday available to take (OT has been booked up by other staff members) I have asked if I can take the time off unpaid but have been told by my employer that this is not allowed. I have worked 40 hours a week got 6 months plus, yes I am silly for not getting my holiday booked sooner but I just never thought it would all get booked up. I loose all my holiday if I do not take it also do I feel very stuck at the moment.
    Terri

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Terri, I don’t know when your holiday year ends but can you ask them if you can carry some of it forward as you are unable to take it because there is no holiday available? Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Emma

    Can I be given a bad report saying am a poor time keeper if I am not in 10 min before my shift, but not actually late for my shift?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Emma, yes quite possibly… does your contract require you to get into work 10 minutes early ? Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Lee

    Just reading this paragraph;
    “Time spent on-call at the workplace (either working or during ‘sleep’ time – whether you are asleep or actually working where ‘sleeping’ is permitted). However, please note the NMW Regulations are not clear on this issue. There has been much case law on the WTR and whether on call time is considered to be working time. The current position is that on call time constitutes working time if the worker is required to be in the workplace, rather than at home and even if the worker is asleep for the entire period time.”

    Can i refuse to do sleep-ins as i’m only contracted 40 hours a week or have the sleep in included in my contracted hours?
    I’m currently doing 40 hours a week plus a 9 hour sleep-in, sometimes two.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Lee, yes your sleep-ins should be counted as working hours under the working time regulations, so your contract should reflect that. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • amy

    Hi I work for a care company were I go to different clients houses for a short amount of time, some of the clients have asked to. Go directly through me and cut out the agency? Help and advice needed?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Amy, I think that could put you in a very difficult situation as you are effectively taking work off the agency which they wont’ be happy about. And you would then in effect be freelancing? Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Emma Jones

    HI
    I have bee working sleep ins for 20 months and at lest 20 hours over time (not even at my own rate of pay) since 2010. I’m currently off sick from work due to stress caused by an accusation which has left me completely flabbergasted but luckily my union are i full support of me.
    My question s should i be paid for sleep ins while off sick as they were part of my regular working week?
    I’m loosing a substantial amount financially whilst off sick.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Ema, it’s going to depend whether you are receiving occupational sick pay or only statutory sick pay. If you are receiving SSP then this is a flat-rate weekly amount which is not affected by the amount of your normal pay. If you are receiving occupational sick pay then it is going to depend if your sleep-in payments are regarded as your ‘normal’ pay or not, which is what sick payment are calculated from. You need to see what your contract or any Company Handbook says about this. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Ema6

        HI

        I receive occupational sick pay.
        Sleep ins were introduced in October 2011 they were not in my original contract from 2008. They are paid at a standard rate and i do 2 one week and three the second week.
        Thanks

        • lesleyfurber

          Hi, do you have a Handbook where you could check this out? Or ask your Union to check this out for you. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Matt Hallett

    Hi, I’m a support worker in Hampshire, i started a shift yesterday at 10am, it finishes today (saturday) at 10:30amon Sunday I am covering a sleep-in shift, 8:30pm-10:30pm, the shift finishes Monday at 9:30am, but, I’ve been rota’d on for Monday 11am – 10:30pm-sleep n finish Tuesday at 11am, I’m then working weds 9-5.30, thurs 9-5.30, Friday 10am -10:30pm – sleep – 7:30am -10:30am Sunday. Total hours for theek 49.5, I’m contracted for 39 hours a week, which used to be recorded on a weekly time sheet, but now they have changed to monthly and we have to record from the 1st of the month to the last, this means that dispite not working under my contracted 39hours every week, sometimes over, they are saying I owe 22 hours! I worked out that even by the end of the year I will still owe them 2 hours, just by working my contracted hours each week!? Can you recommend a good union? Any advise? I don’t want to just leave because I’ve worked up to a good pay scale, but I’m pretty sure what they are doing is wrong, I just need a way to call them on their crap.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Matt, thanks for your message. You mention a sleep-in shift, are you actually required to work all of this shift or are you on-call during this period and can sleep when not working? If it is the latter then only the hours you work during your on-call period will be counted towards your working time. You can try UNISON, I think they represent a lot of care workers. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Michael

    Hi
    I have a friend who is a home care worker for a private care company. He has been working for them since February 11th 2013 and he has been suspended as a lady died after he failed to call the office at the first of 2 scheduled visits made to her home. this was at 6.20pm. when he arrived for his second visit at 9pm and again couldn’t get the client to answer her buzzer (it was a flat on the ground floor with a buzzer. he had no key for this flat. ) He called the office spoke to the worker and reported there was no answer at the flat. He then continued with his next visit. The next morning he received a call from the office telling him that tragically the lady was found dead that morning. He was asked to come in to the office and told because he hadn’t called in after the 6.20pm visit he is to be suspended and could face legal action for neglect. He is mortified by this and whilst he admits he forgot to call the office after the first visit, ( he tells me he forgot as he was conscious that as he was asked to give a colleague a lift around her visits that day as well as his own he was wanting to get to her to collect her from her call and get onto their next visit so he simply forgot to call the office.) as I said earlier he did call after his 9pm visit.

    Where does he stand please as he is worried sick?

    Hi
    I have a friend who is a home care worker for a private care company. He has been working for them since February 11th 2013 and he has been suspended as a lady died after he failed to call the office at the first of 2 scheduled visits made to her home. this was at 6.20pm. when he arrived for his second visit at 9pm and again couldn’t get the client to answer her buzzer (it was a flat on the ground floor with a buzzer. he had no key for this flat. ) He called the office spoke to the worker and reported there was no answer at the flat. He then continued with his next visit. The next morning he received a call from the office telling him that tragically the lady was found dead that morning. He was asked to come in to the office and told because he hadn’t called in after the 6.20pm visit he is to be suspended and could face legal action for neglect. He is mortified by this and whilst he admits he forgot to call the office after the first visit, ( he tells me he forgot as he was conscious that as he was asked to give a colleague a lift around her visits that day as well as his own he was wanting to get to her to collect her from her call and get onto their next visit so he simply forgot to call the office.) as I said earlier he did call after his 9pm visit.

    Where does he stand please as he is worried sick?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Michael, thanks for your message. I’m afraid I can’t comment on whether he could face legal action for neglect or not, as that is not my field. But it does sound like something he could be suspended for. He should he called to a disciplinary hearing to discuss this soon. Obviously I don’t know what arrangements the company have in place for situations like this but he could try to argue that when he did call at 9pm the company did not act on this until the following morning anyway (if I have interpreted what you are saying correctly). Unfortunately he does not have the right to claim unfair dismissal as he does not have enough service with the company. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Michael

        Hi Lesley
        Many thanks for your reply
        Unfortunately he has been dismissed today over the phone without a hearing! He was supposed to have the hearing today but it was cancelled due to the bad weather). He hasn’t had a hearing so surely this is not a fair reaction from the company
        Would you suggest legal advice?

        • lesleyfurber

          Hi Michael, unless the Company has a contractual disciplinary policy which they have not followed (and which may give your friend the ability to claim for breach of contract) then I would think there is little point in pursuing legal advice. But, obviously, if you can get some advice free then by all means why not see what they say. Regards, Lesley, Workline

          • Michael

            Ok thanks
            So they are within their rights to sack him without any hearing or right to reply to what happened?

          • lesleyfurber

            Michael, it’s going to depend if their disciplinary policy is contractual or not. If they didn’t follow it, and it’s not contractual, there is not much your friend can do as he’s not been there long enough. Regards, Lesley

  • mecca

    Hi can a support worker work for 60 plus hours a week and do 4 sleeps at the age of 21

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi, age restrictions on rest breaks and working hours only apply to those under 18. Are you doing 60 hours plus the sleep-ins? If you are working over 48 hours per week then you must agree to sign an Opt Out of the weekly working hours, this is not something your Employer should force you to do. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • http://twitter.com/nrq78 Michal K.

    Hi there, I have one quite interesting question. Can care/support worker watch a TV during a work (night shift) whilst person supported is sleeping, of course do not disturbing him? watching TV quietley or on headphones. Is this is financial abuse or is legal? I would like to know what is the law says about it. Thanks

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Michal, the law says nothing about this. It’s going to depend whether the Employer allows this or not. Regards, Lesley, Workline.

  • Stephen

    Hi I work in a rehabilitation unit ,and would like to know if I can work an afternoon shift from 1pm till 10pm , then go directly onto a night shift 10 pm till 7am the next morning , would be grateful for your comments .

    • lesleyfurber

      hi Stephen, I’ve just answered the comment you posted previously, under the Working Time Regulations page. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • millie

    Is it legal for a care home to video you secretly ?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Millie, not necessarily. It’s going to depend on the reason they are doing this – this aspect of the law is covered by the Data Protection Act and various other related legislation which is very tight on the circumstances where an employer can record/monitor staff. You need to read your employment contract and any related companies Policies to see if they have a Data Protection Act Policy and what it says they can do and when they can do it. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • http://www.facebook.com/susan.huggins.18 Susan Huggins

    my daughter was told by her now care employers that she did not have to drive to be able to work for them she could work with someone else until she does. She undertook a week’s training with two days shadowing and then waited for her CRB which got lost and the company said cannot put her on payrole until she receives it. Now have received it and now she has been told she cannot work until she drives. She was also told she was going to be paid weekly then they changed it to monthly. They said they cannot pay her for time she has had training etc. until she starts working on her own. So basically they are saying they won’t pay her???

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Susan, did she get anything in writing when she started with them? A contract or offer letter? It is fairly normal for Care Employers to provide a ‘training’ contract which means your daughter would not get paid during an initial training period (whether this is legal or not will depend how the contract is written). It sounds like a case of very bad communication on their part if they told her they didn’t need her to drive and now do need her to drive. An Employer can change her pay periods, but they do need to let her know this in writing. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Sarah

    Hi, yesterday i worked from 05.55am till midnight as a care assistant home care. I am shattered and did not get a break, all back to back calls.Was i intiled to a break ????

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Sarah, as you work in the care industry and are probably a shift worker then it is likely that you are legally ‘exempt’ from needing a break. This appears to be the norm I’m afraid in the Care Industry. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Sarah

        That is so wrong, that is streching workers to the limit and making it dangerous for the clints and other road users.No wonder so many people leave the care industry. An over worked person is a hazard and is no good to anyone. I think its about time these rules were changed and some proper laws put into place for care workers.

        • jc1972

          Our care employers need to realise just how hazardous these hours are not just to us but also our service users and the general public. Last year I had worked 38 hours in a row consisting of 2 day shifts with a night shift in between. I had been awake and working for nearly 40 hours and was driving to my last call when I crashed my car as a van pulled out in front of me. I’m not saying that I was to blame or at fault because of the long hours but if I wasn’t so tired maybe my reaction time would have been quicker and I could of possibly avoided the accident. The whole system needs an over haul and our hours and breaks need to be set across the whole industry. They wouldn’t let a van/lorry driver do our sort of hours without a sleep or rest break as it is illegal so why should we be any different, we are driving as much if not more than a lorry driver yet we have no set rules. It needs to be sorted out before someone gets hurt.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ann.rayment Ann McEwan

    Hi am a care worker and work nights my rota was changed without being notified should my employer have notified me and I have made arrangements for my time off when the rota came out earlier where do i stand

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Ann, yes of course your Employer should notify you of changes but there is nothing in law, that I am aware of, about this. Does your contract say anything about rota notifications and when you should know – obviously there made need to be changes at the last minute occasionally to cope with any unforseen circumstances, but your Employer should give you reasonable notice just to be fair. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • http://www.facebook.com/ann.rayment Ann McEwan

        I read the employees hand book and had said that shifts could be changed after discussion with manager, which had not taken place, I have informed manager regarding this and problem resolved many thanks for your reply.

  • chris

    My wife works in a residential home. She works a shift pattern and has to participate within the on call rota; usually 2 days per week when she is not on duty. She is contacted to cover staff absence either to get cover or to cover the shift herself. on call is not paid but is mentioned within her job description.
    I question whether she can be forced to work overtime when her contract states that overtime is optional and not mandatory. Yet she would be subject to disciplinary action if she did not go in to work to provide this cover. Is this correct, she works longs hours and is very emotional at the moment.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Chris, it’s going to depend whether ‘overtime’ is seen as seperate to ‘on-call’, which is often the case. Does it mention the 2 things seperately in her contract? If she is required to be on-call in her contract, then she is required to do this. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • emlyn beaman

    i had an accident in work in 2009 which they admitted 75 % of the blame and since then ive had a lot of time of with an injury caused by said accident now they are going to get rid of me claiming im unfit to work are they allowed to do that without compensating me

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Emlyn, thanks for your message. I think this really crosses over maybe 3 areas – whether your employment can be ended and whether you have a claim for compensation, which wouldn’t necessarily be the same thing, and health and safety law. Your Employer can end your employment if you are not fit enough to work, but they must make any reasonable ‘adjustments’ they can make to help you if this is possible and explain to you what they are doing/can do etc. I have no knowledge of accident compensation so it might be worth finding a lawyer who can help you. Good luck, regards, Lesley, Workline

  • http://www.facebook.com/sam.varney.75 Sam Varney

    I am currently doing private care work for a family. I have only been there two weeks so have yet to obtain a written contract. However, my employer has stated they are going to pay me a sum which would be under the minimum wage limit, taking into consideration my hours worked . I strongley object to this but am not sure what to do as there is no contract stating the hours I have worked. They are not willing to discuss things with me. What should I do?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Sam, you need to keep a note of the hours you work, so you can work out how much you are being paid per hour, while you wait to receive your contract. When you got the job did they indicate then the hours you should be working? (or in the job advert?). Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Amanda Burridge

    Hi, my mother in law works for a care agency. She is being told she must work 8pm to 8am on a 7 day rolling rota. She is driving most of the time as her pair up partner does not drive. The petrol is costing her approx £120 for the 7 day shift of which she only gets back £85. This £85 is then taxed!!!! Her employer is telling her it is ‘not their problem’. She does not get any breaks and spends most of the time driving. Is any of this legal. By the time she is going home she is almost falling asleep at the wheel. I dont think it is legal to work a continuous 12 hours during the night, to only have 12 hours at home to then go back to another 12 hours.. this continues for 7 days. I dont agree with her being out of pocket for fuel either. I would appreciate your opinion. Thanks

    • lesleyfurber

      hi Amanda, thanks for your message. Re the petrol I would talk to the HMRC about this as they set rates I understand for how much can be claimed back. As your mother in law works in the care sector it is likely she is exempt from needing the daily and weekly rest breaks so I’m afraid there is no positive news I can give you here. Employers are obviously meant to take their employees health and safety into account when setting shift patterns but I’m aware that in the care industry this doesn’t seem to happen very much. Hope that helps a bit. Regards, Lesley, Workline

    • jc1972

      Hiya, I had the same problem when working with my employer it was costing me £80 a week for fuel and my employer didnt pay any of it back to us. I put a fuel allowance claim in with HMRC and my tax code was put up from 810L to 1240L which meant I could earn an extra 4000 roughly without being taxed. This meant that I didn’t have to pay tax at all and I got my previous years tax refunded which was £290. Although this didnt cover even a tenth of my petrol expenses it came in handy, so whatever tax you mother in law has paid she will get back and the amount she saves on not being taxed should go some way to covering the shortfall. I don’t know your mother in laws circumstances but I also claimed children’s and working tax credit aa the petrol costs and any other work expenses can be deducted from her yearly salary for the purpose of calculating this benefit although the tax credit office will not volunteer this information and there is nothing on the form to put your expenses in to. If you claim tax credit on the how to fill in guidance notes it has boxes to do calculations before you fill the proper form in. On the guidance notes it says to deduct any work related expenses from your yearly income. So for example my end of year P60 said that my wage was £7500 but after deducting £4000 fuel expenses, £220 business insurance for my car, £100 uniform costs it takes my wage down to £3180 and this is the figure that I give to the tax credit office. I did get a letter from them asking why my wage was different to what was on my P60 and had to give them details of my expenses but once it was sorted my tax credits increased by £65 a week which was more than enough to cover fuel costs. It is not well known that you can off set these deductions for your tax credit claim infant even the advisor didnt know about it until I told them to read the guidance notes properly, which is something I had never done in previous years, even my workmates didnt know that it could be done but when they rang and told them the right pay figures with expenses deducted their tax credits increased as well. Also if you are caring for a relative and want to claim careers allowance for this the same can done. I was earning £180 per week and. You have to earn less than £100 a week to claim cares allowance. There is a section on the careers allowance claim form that asks how much work expenses and childminding you pay. As I paid £80 a week fuel expenses, £5 a week insurance and £30 to my dad for watching kids when I work it takes my weekly wage down to £65 a week so I can claim careers allowance for looking after my son who gets a disability benefit. There are probably other things that you can deduct expenses from but these are the ones that I claim. The tax credit office try to tell you that you can not take expenses off but as long as you have the guidance notes from your renewal or claim pack you can prove that you can deduct them. I had to get my M.P to step in at first as they wouldnt allow me to deduct it from my wage but she wrote to them with a copy of the notes and within a couple of days they agreed that I was right. Hope this helps.

      • jc1972

        LOL notice there are few spelling mistakes.. . . . It should say carers allowance my auto spell must have changed words lol

  • julie houssein

    Hi I work in a Residential/Nursing home just over a week ago a resident punch me full blown in the face while knocking my head back & making my nose bleed ,I have filled in the correct paper work & told my Manager but it all seems to be brushed under the carpet surely this is not right .Please could you tell me if there is anything I can do about this im so angry there must be rights for a carer .

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Julie, thanks for your message. I’m afraid this is more a care standards issue, which is not something I know much about – see the last paragraph above which directs you to a website that may be able to help you. It’s also a health and safety issues I would think, which your Employer should take seriously – you could put in a grievance if you wanted to do that, to make sure your employer knows you are concerned about this. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • HK

    Should a male career be providing personal care to a female service user on his own?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi HK, I’m afraid I don’t know the answer to this, it’s a care stands issue – see the last paragraph for ways to contact the Care Quality Commission who may be able to help you. Regards, Lesley, Workline

    • Tania

      Hello HK, every carer should have been through all criminal and background checks before working with any vulnerable pupil, and this check should be clear. Unless the service users family or service user themselves say otherwise then yes, it is acceptable for a male carer to provide personal care to a female service user.

      Tania

  • eddie

    Hi, i work nights in a nursing home and have booked holiday time that starts on a monday, i have been put down on the rota to work a 12 hour shift starting at 7pm on the sunday, can they do this??

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Eddie, thanks for your message. I can’t see why they can’t do this – if it’s going to cause you a problem with timing of your holiday etc though, can you ask them if you can swap shifts etc? Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • sam

    Hi. Im a care assistant in a home. Are they aloud to take our staff room away. Also if im not being paid for a break do i have to stay at work?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Sam, they need to provide you with somewhere you can have a break away from work; but they can say where you can take your break as far as I am aware. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • EM

    I’m a support worker working for a company that provides one to one care to service users 24/7. Our normal hours are 10am – 10pm, sleepover from 10pm – 8am, 8am – 10am (at work for 24hrs continuous with no break), they are asking us more and more to do double shifts and sometimes even more than that (i.e out at work for 48hrs+ in one go) I’m sure we all opted out of 48hr weekly working directive, generally none of us like to say no but are killing ourselves in helping out in this way – employee says these double/triple shifts have been sanctioned by social work (we doubt this), surely from a health & safety point of view no-one can safely (for them or their service user) work for this length of time?? p.s – sleepovers often entail being woken through the night by service users.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi EM, yes I’d agree with you that from a health and safety point of view this does not sound safe at all; but unfortunately as you work in the care sector then you are likely to be exempt from the daily rest breaks – however your employer still needs to consider your health and safety. The difficult thing is getting them to do this; because if they won’t consider making changes then the only thing you can do is make a complaint either to the Health and Safety Executive or to an Employment Tribunal. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • jc1972

    Hiya, I worked for a nationwide care company and was given training and worked towards my NVQ3 . I did some work for this qualification but not an awful lot and next thing I know I have received my certificate saying I have passed the course and now have NVQ 3 in health and social care. I thought that I had a few modules left to complete so looked at my online training record and was totally shocked, the trainer had put down that she conducted an interview with me and I explained about a patient that I was caring for who had suffered brain damage in a car crash and what my goals and care plan for this patient and his family was going to include….. It was all totally fabricated lies…. I had never met for interviews with the trainer and I have never looked after anyone with this condition….. There was also a report saying that she had met with myself and my supervisor and discussed how well I was doing in the company and goals that I could aim for…. which again was fabricated. I know that I am capable of doing my job to a very high standard and any work that I did for my NVQ3 did not need to be supplemented with false reports as I am capable of studying to degree level which I have done previously. What I am worried about is if my company is giving out qualifications that have not been earned and that carers are unqualified and unsuitable to be working with vulnerable clients. I saved all these false reports that had been submitted for my NVQ but I dont know what to do next or who to report this to as obviously this is fraud. I left the company citing constructive dismissal to the job centre as I have lost all my trust in the company.. Can you please advise me in this complicated matter.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi, thanks for your message. I’m not clear whether the person who was falsifying the records was from your company or was an external trainer? I would advise you to contact the NVQ company directly as this is clearly fraud as you say and should not happen, and it would be worthwhile you proving that this had nothing to do with you. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Ann McEwan

    Asking this question for a friend who was suspended from their role after a few days the company lifted the suspension with no further outcome, this person was put onto work days although their contract is for Night-shift, where do they stand regarding their contract.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Ann, it’s going to depend if this is a permanent change and/or if the change was because of the original allegation (obviously I don’t know the details). If it’s a permanent change then the company are altering the terms and conditions of your friend – which they can do but they must follow a process. More details are here. http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/go-freelance-guide/written-statements-and-contracts/
      Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Ann McEwan

        Many thanks for your reply but further to the inquiry, My friend was told he was being put on day shift for his own protection from allegations from the service user, which was proved unfounded, but now he is more vulnerable on the day shift as the services users sits in the area that has the only access to the main staff room and front hallway, my friend works on a 13 hour day shift rota and when he was on nights he only seen the service user for two hours. Management have changed the next months rota to day shift without his consent.

  • Debi Matthews Trapp

    can you start work in a nursing home with a crb, while awaiting reference w

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Debi, yes this is possible but will depend on what the Company normally require (i.e. references before the start of employment or not). Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • sally

    Hi I work in a residential home . I work with my mum one evening who is also a care assistant there. We have worked together for 3 years and no problems have accrued. Can my manager changed our shift be because we are family ?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Sally, yes they could do this – slightly unusual as I can’t see why there would be any problem with this though, unless it is a management issue? Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • John Book

    My partner is a Registered Nurse, working in a residential convalescent home. The home is private and is only open to employees of a specific company and is a registered charity. There have been a number of issues over staffing levels recently, e.g. when full, there are over 130 patients and only one nurse on duty on the night shift.

    I am writing because a new rota is being proposed where a nurse will be rostered to work two 13 and a half hour shifts on a Saturday and Sunday, one weekend in four, and I question whether this is legal. The nurse would also be alone. Your thoughts would be much appreciated.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi John, thanks for your message. I can’t comment on patient/staff ratios I’m afraid, but with regard to the new roster, that would probably be legally ok (obviously I don’t know how many other hours they would work in that week). Most care workers will be exempt from the need for the daily rest breaks. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • April

    Hi,
    My partner works as a carer and he often works 6.45am till 9.30pm with 1-2 hours break in the middle of the day, however this can change at the drop of a hat. This also occurs one day after another so he doesn’t get home till 10pm and up at 6.30. This just doesn’t seem right. Thanks

    • lesleyfurber

      hi April, as a carer he’s quite likely to be exempt from needing the daily rest breaks. But he should get ‘compensatory’ rest for any part of the daily rest break he does not get. You need to count up his hours over a longer period to work out what rest he is getting in total each week. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • disqus_0sJzuceGdV

    Hi,

    I’ve been working for a care company for a few months now and have a few queries that I’m hoping you can help me clarify.

    My first query is regarding travelling times between clients. I do receive a mileage allowance of 20 pence per mile but do not get paid for the time between clients houses. Surely this cant be right as I am still at work and cannot do personal tasks and the time is not my own, therefore, believe this should not be unpaid.

    My next question is regarding the allocated time spent in a clients house. I see a lady twice a day with delicate care needs and repeatedly spend longer in this clients house than the allocated time permitted by the company. A number of staff have reported this but has never had her time changed as on good days the tasks can be completed within the allocated time (which isn’t often). We do not get paid for the extra time in her house and this can be on average 30 mins to an hour extra per day between the two calls. Is this right as I am not volunteering to work unpaid but feel that I have no option and management have basically said it is ‘tuff’ we get paid our allocated time regardless of how much longer we spend in her house. This has put me in a situation to where I have not been present for my children coming in from school occasionally and as a single parent they need me there.

    My last query is regarding working on a Sunday. When I started the job I verbally agreed to working one Sunday a month. I am now being told that I have to work 2 Sundays within the month but I have just had this reduced from every Sunday after complaining. I do not mind doing my fair share of weekend work as I regularly do Saturdays as well as the Sundays but some staff are still doing the agreed 1 per month and a few aren’t doing any weekends other than covering the occasional shift. Are they within their rights to force me to work more than the 1 Sunday per month that I originally agreed to?

    I appreciate any help and advice you can give me on this.

    Thanks

    T

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi T, in answer to your first question, you should be paid for travelling time between clients. Your 2nd question – you need to be paid at least the national minimum wage for all the hours you work – so you need to work out how many hours you are working and divide that by the hourly pay you actually get and see how much your hourly rate actually is. Your last question – if they are changing your shift pattern, unless your contract says that they can do this, then they are changing your terms and conditions of employment. They can do this but there are certain steps they need to follow – more details are here http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/go-freelance-guide/written-statements-and-contracts/
      Hope that helps and apologies for the delay in getting back to you. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Katie8

    Hi
    I work as a area and I just wanted to know the facts about this.
    I am working 5 12 hour shifts and my manager had arranged a compulsory accountability course but I couldn’t attend because I was working that night and the course was in the day on my 3rd night shift of 5.
    My manager then told me I will get a disciplinary for not turning up ? Is that fair ? I want to get my facts right before I stand up and say something.

    • lesleyfurber

      hi Katie, your Employer can hold a disciplinary hearing for this, as the course was compulsory. However, you need to explain to them at the hearing why you did not attend. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Zqo93w

    Hi. I have concerns rearding my partner, who works in the care industry.

    She works for a private home caring for elderly residents, many with dementia. She is also 25 weeks pregnant. She works night shifts averaging 35hrs a week.

    Despite being pregnant, she regularly has to deal with violent residents and has come close to being assaulted on several occasions. There is only 2 staff members for 20 residents during the night shift.

    She is becoming very stressed and wishes to sart her maternity leave early, however this will have huge financial implications for us. I feel that the employer should be ensuring that my partnes safety is paramount and supplying more staff if need be to prevent my partner and unborn child coming to any harm. She can’t go sick as she would only recie e £80 p/w sat sick pay. Her maternity pay is also basic smp, barely enough to survive.

    Advice please?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi, thanks for your message. Her Employer must take her health and safety while pregnant into account seriously – there is a lot more information in this link here http://www.xperthr.co.uk/faqs/topics/8,80/specific-vulnerable-people.aspx?articleid=44038&mode=open#44038

      Obviously getting the Employer to do any of this may be more difficult so there is not much else she can do apart from starting maternity leave (at 11 weeks before), or taking any holiday she is owed before she starts here maternity leave?

      Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Andi Reinitz

    Dear Lesley,
    I am a support worker and with the care provider for 6 years. We do sleep in-s and this was always from 11pm to 7am, and even when the person I support woke up at 5am, we just needed to record this for disturbed night but never got payed for the extra hours. (My manager told me not to claim these hours on my time sheet because they are not goint to pay for it anyway.) Now they suddenly just changing the sleep in hours to 11pm to 8am. This is so wrong the client is awake at 6am latest, we are not payed but can not sleep and we must work with him. I do this for 6 years, lots of unpayed hours. Do you think I should get this right? I am planning to contact UNISON. (I left this job, doing my notice. ) Thank you very much for your kind help. Regards, Mandroka.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Mandroka, thanks for your message. Yes you should be paid at least the national minimum wage for all the hours you work on your sleep-in shifts. I would suggest joining a Union certainly, the more care workers that do, the better conditions you all may get eventually! Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • CarerA

    I work for a care company doing variable hours domiciliary care. I can be busy in the morning then quiet until afternoon/evening clients. there can be 2-4 hours break during the day. I get paid for mileage (45p per mile) between clients but not for travel time…is that legal?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi CarerA, you should be paid for travel time between clients (but not for breaks or travel time to and from home). Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • CarerRM

    Hi,

    My question is with regard to supporting service users to go on holiday. If we take a service user away on holiday, we spend 24 hours with them. My company pays only 7.4 (7.4 is calculated by dividing 37 hours, fulltime hours, by 5 working days, giving what is considered an average number of daily hours for a fulltime employee) hours per day for each day you are away, and pays our usual sleepover payment. So if I work in my regular supported houses for 12 hours, I would get paid for 12 hours; if I take that same individual away on holiday I am only paid for 7.4 hours. Is there any legal standing to this way of paying, and are myself and my colleagues protected with regard to accidents at work, insurance etc if we are not being paid?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi CarerRM, you should be paid for all the hours you actually work, including any work done during sleep-overs; so it sounds like you are not being paid for enough hours. I’m afraid I can’t answer your question about insurance, but you should be covered by the fact that you are employed rather than the hours you actually work I would think (but I don’t know). Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Vera17

    Hi, I need an urgent help please.Iam a live-in carer and started to look aftera client 10 days ago. Unfortunatelly I wasn’t aware of the fact he has hepatitis B (the Agency I am working for did not informed me!). And I do not have immunity. Certainly I left immediately (Friday). I am a little bit worry about that I am infected (I go to the GP for a test) and I am worry about if I can work as a carer in the future or not.
    I am going to ask for legal advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau. But I would like to ask you:

    The Agency did not provide any solution, any advice what kind of further steps should be taken (how I can
    be sure I am not infected or how I can have a vaccine). What are their obligations in this case?
    I think I cannot work as a carer as long as the latency period ( I do not know if I am infected or not)?
    Is that right?
    Can I ask for compensation from Agency for the time I am not able to work?
    If I can work like this: Can I leave Agency for another care agency? Should I give them the 4 weeks’ notice
    (as it is written in my contract) or I can leave immediately?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Vera, I’m afraid you’re asking me questions that I’m not qualified to answer – you need to see a GP or Nurse to answer all of these. Your Agency should take this seriously and give you help to resolve this. You could give your Agency less notice than is written in your Contract but this would be a breach of contract – unlikely the Agency would follow this up but they may. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Vera17

        thank you vermuch foryour answer.

  • rhea.stout

    Hello, i work for NHS Professionals, I have a mandatory training day which i have been told i am not going to be paid for. Should i be paid for this?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Rhea, it depends on what sort of contract you are employed on and what your contract says about training – but in principle I would think yes you should get paid for this if it is mandatory training. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • rhea.stout

        Hi lesley, I am on a 0 hour contract as a flexable worker. Nhsp has told me they normally pay for training but because the hospital trust requires us to have this training to work in there hospital they wont pay us. Surely that means the hospital should pay us for doing the training. But how on earth would you get the nhs to pay me.

        Rhea

        • lesleyfurber

          Hi Rhea, training should be seen as part of doing your job so you should be paid for this. You can’t be the only person affected like this, so could some of you get together to challenge NHSP on this? Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Ceiteag Sinclair

    Hi, I have two daughters doing community care work for agencies. They are
    frequently given back to back visits of half an hour – one hours duration, with
    no allowance made for traveling time between visits. They are expected to leave
    early from one visit and arrive late to the next.

    If there is a gap between visits, they are told it is a break, and they will not be paid
    for it. What happens in fact is that these ‘breaks’ are usually lost catching
    up as they will be running so late that they are already due at the next
    appointment.

    In short the agencies never pay for any traveling time what so ever. If my daughters make
    a fuss about anything, they can receive little or no work the following week. As they are on
    zero hour contracts, there is nothing they can do about this. Are there any
    rules about what can be classed as a break, and should a reasonable, paid for
    time allowance be made for traveling between visits?

    • lesleyfurber

      HI, thanks for your message. Travel time between appointments should be paid and is not classed as a break. If you can read the whole post above you will find the answers to your questions there. Regards and thanks, Lesley, Workline

      • Ceiteag Sinclair

        The agencies get around the rules by giving for example, six back to back appointments then a half or one hour break, as a meal break.
        They say that the carers should leave each appointment 5 mins early and arrive 5 mins late and say this covers the traveling.
        The problem is that often, if it is only a half hour visit, it needs the full half hour, or it can take more than ten mins to get from one visit to the next.

  • barenaked_fi

    I am a Team Leader in a day service. I have just been informed that all manager grade posts (including my own) will be expected to cover out of hours on call to 24 hour services. This is not in my contract and my service offers support generally only office hours (with 4 sessions up to 8pm per month).
    Is it a reasonable change to add 24 hour on call duties covering other services to my contract?
    Can I legally refuse to have this night work added to my contract?
    Does the employer have to observe the 11 hour break between work if I am disturbed/called out during the night (which could result in me being unable to work in my own service, as 11 hours could take me past the service closing time)? If so, can I be penalised and have hours deducted because I have been unable, legally, to complete a full working week in my normal role?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Barenaked, your Employer can make changes to your contract but they must do this in the right way and you can ‘protest’ – this article contains more details http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/go-freelance-guide/written-statements-and-contracts/

      As you work in the care sector you are probably exempt from needing the 11 hour break. Let me know if you have any more questions. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • barenaked_fi

        The service in which I work has no 24 hour responsibilities. I would assume that, as I do not work in a 24 hour service, I am protected by the work time directive. I was employed under a specific day service deputy manager contract nearly 6 years ago. I was TUPE transferred into the current role, and they have harmonised team leader contracts since, but they remain WITHOUT on call duties. Myself and others have medical reasons why we cannot commit to call outs at night (effects of medication), and some staff do not drive (not currently a requirement of the post). I have found on a gov. webpage that states staff cannot be discriminated against if they refuse to work nights.
        There is also the issue of wellbeing and capacity to carry out normal duties when we are required to work normal office hours but also expected to take emergency calls/call outs at night between shifts. If time is permitted to allow 11 hours’ uninterrupted break, we would sometimes not be able to start work until our service had finished for the day, therefore preventing us from completing our required hours during the week, and possibly owing time.

  • branston92

    Hi there, I need some advice. I work for a well known agency who work for the council and private sector. I am on a zero hours contract that states that pay is £7.20 phr which includes travel. However I am only being paid for the time I am with my service users and receiving no payment for travel time at all. They have worded the contract cleverly to get away with it. Should I be paid for travel time? Who do I contact? Thank you.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi, yes, legally you should be paid for all travel time that is in connection with your job (to and from clients – but not to and from home or not while you are having a break). I’m afraid this is very common in the care sector. Obviously I don’t know what your contracts say but it is likely to be wrong. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Dawne Chaplin

    Branston92. I have the same query, I work in care and only get paid for the time I’m with the client, I get 6.90 ph and .65 non taxable ph which they say is to help with fuel, which barely touches it. So I pay my money in fuel and my time in travel, I’d loves to know my rights too

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Dawne, the answer is the same, you should be paid for all travelling time that is in connection with your work. You can look at the HMRC mileage allowances here http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/mileage/
      Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • dori69

    Dori
    I work with challenging behaviour and of late quite a few staff have had injuries, black eyes, dislocated fingers etc, resulting in time off work which is unpaid!. What rights do we have a support workers. It seems that we are not cared about at all. I was also told that if a service users punches me in the face and my glasses get broken I will be the one paying for it!!. At £180.00 for a prescription, I cant afford to pay this. I love my job but we are not employed to be a punch bag surely!

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Dori, your Employer is responsible for your health and safety while you are work so they should be taking this seriously. If you need to have time off sick because of these injuries then you should be eligible for SSP at least – if your employer does not have an occupational sick pay scheme – if you meet the qualifying conditions – more details are here http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/go-freelance-guide/sickness-and-statutory-sick-pay-ssp/
      With regards to your glasses, I would imagine (but I don’t know) that this should be covered by your Employers Liability Insurance. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Alison

    Hi, Can anyone tell me if my ex-employer is allowed to claim money back off me for the unpaid induction training I did for them?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Alison, it’s going to depend what your contract says. A lot of Employers will ask for training to be paid back if it costs them money. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Angela

    I normally work 24 hour shifts. However, I’ve now been scheduled for two back to back shifts. I told my client that I was not comfortable working a continuous 48 hours but they refused to change it. Is there any advice about this this?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Angela, if you are a care worker then you are probably exempt from the need for rest breaks. They do need to take your Health and Safety into account and obviously if you are working constantly for 48 hours that’s going to be an issue! Is there any part of the shift that’s ‘sleeping’? Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Angela

        Yes. I normally get 5 hours discontinuous sleep each day.

        • lesleyfurber

          Is this just going to be a one-off, not regular? Cheers, Lesley, Workline

          • Angela

            I don’t think it’s a regular thing. But I have seen it come up on other people’s schedules before.

          • lesleyfurber

            hi Angela, I’m not sure you can do much about this, if it’s not going to be a regular occurence, as it should be ok in terms of the Working Time Regulations. I do think you should make it clear this will not be good for your health and safety though. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Jenny Mason

    My mum works in care home as a cleaner and today they said she had to work in kitchen as well. she refused as shes not trained for the kitchen and my boss said it was tough!! Am i right in thinking that she would need to be showered before going in kitchen after cleaning filthy toilets?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Jenny, thanks for your message. I can’t help you here as I don’t know about these sort of Care Standards, but what you say makes sense! Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Elaine

    I know of someone who is working in a registered care home and is working 17.5 hrs a day, she has only been there a few months no previous experience and offered a dept matron post is this all legal?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Elaine, it’s going to depend how many days a week she works 17.5 hours – if it was every day then yes it would not be correct. Government Guidance says at the absolute minimum someone must get 90 hours rest per week. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • ally

    I’m doing a lot of hoisting, transferring etc for a client in a bed which is larger than a single bed but slightly smaller than a double bed. I’m short and I find I’ve back pain after working with him with the reaching over etc in the larger bed but my employer refuses to insist that the client in placed in a single bed.What are my rights as I’m sure it’s linked to working with the bigger bed?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Ally, your Employer needs to take responsibility for your health and safety but in terms of whether it is appropriate for the client to be in a bigger bed etc I can’t help you here. The last paragraph above, Care Standards, may have a link to help you with this question. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • ally

        Thanks Lesley,
        I agree too that my employer should be responsible for my H&S esp if they allow the client to be in a bigger bed and disregard my H&S.

  • Zoe

    I am working in a care home that has 7 hour shifts, occasionally the breaks between shifts are only 10 hours, so I finish at 11pm and start at 9am the next morning. By the time I travel home, have a shower and get to bed I am lucky to get 6 hours sleep before starting my next shift. Is this breaking the law?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Zoe, basically no it’s not. As a Care Worker you are probably exempt from needing the 11 hour break (but should receive ‘compensatory’ rest for the portion of the 11 hours you did not get). Your rest time includes your travel time etc. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Caroline

    Hi, my husband works in a care home where he is expected to work 23 hour shifts in the home. During these shifts he spends 8.5 hours not working unless there is a problem (which there frequently is). Despite his working hours only being 37 hours a week, he is being given 2-3 of these shifts per week as well as additional 7 hour shifts during the day. Do the hours when he is in work but not working count towards the 37 hour week.? If not is there a limit as to how many of these he can work? He has advised his manager that he can only manage to get 2 hours sleep a night and is worried about the level of care he provides the next day but they have ignored him.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Caroline, thanks for your message. The hours he is at work, but not working, count towards his working hours (but don’t count toward the minimum wage). There is a limit of 48 hours per week he should work, unless he has agreed to sign an Opt Out agreeing to work more than 48 hours per week. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Maria

    Hi I am home support worker It is a private care company I am traveling some times 50 miles a day I don’t get travel time or any help with fuel I am £60 a week in fuel can I do anything about this

    • lesleyfurber

      hi Maria, you can look at the HMRC website re mileage allowances here http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/mileage/

      With regard to not being paid your travel time this is clearly illegal – but the only way you can enforce this is to make a claim to an Employment Tribunal or you can contact the National Minimum Pay and Work Rights Helpline on 0800 917 2368 who also deal with complaints from workers who are being paid below the threshold.
      Hope that helps.
      Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Worried daughter

    Hello, Im worried about my mother she works 7 days a week has 1 hour lunch break gets 6 1/2 hours sleep unless shes woken to clean up . Shes only on 3.65 an hour. She does get 5 days off every 2 weeks. She doesnt get petrol money for hospital trips, doctors appointments , physio appointments or taking the person shopping, is this right ? She looks exhausted .

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Worried, the hours may be ok if she gets at least 90 hours rest per week (averaged over the period to include the 5 days off). If she’s being paid below the minimum wage then clearly this is not right (you calculate this based on all the hours she works, and any hours she works during a sleeping shift – I presume that is what you are describing – you do not generally count hours where she is not working on a sleep-shift). She should be reimbursed her petrol if she is using her own private car as far as I understand – the link to the HMRC page is on the post below. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Worried daughter

        Thank you Lesley, shall read it. She only gets 7 1/2 hours (less the odd hour during nights when needed) a day, that’s including sleep time to herself, I will look into it and hopefully sort something out .

  • Sharon Simpson

    Hi. Having problems on receiving my rota in acceptable time. I’m a support worker and do not get my 5week rota till the week before. This is causing problems with child care etc. I’ve brought it up number if times at team meetings and have stated they try to bring in out within 2 weeks but this has not been done. Is there any time limit companies have to send out rotas?
    Thanks

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Sharon, thanks for your message. I’m afraid there is no time limit for this as far as I’m aware – you would expect them to act reasonably of course. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • sharon

    hi ..my employer gave me a letter stating that they have given me a contract to work 16 hrs a week to claim tax credit but gave me 10 hours work a week is this fraud..originally I was doing 40hrs but now ive enrolled into college so my hours has dropped so my employers agreed to give me 16hrs so I can claim I need to work 16 hours or its not worth working because im a community carer I do a lot of driving
    thanks

  • Jane

    Hi, I’m employed as a carer to collect a child from school and drop her to her home. I have a contract that states I will be paid £9 per hour. I’m asked to fill in a time sheet from the time I arrive at the school to the time that I drop off (is this correct or should it be from the time I leave home until the time I get home). Also it was verbally agreed that even though it only takes 35 minutes from pick up at the school to drop off at home, I would be paid the hourly rate. The employer has since completed my timesheet only paying for the actual time worked – i.e. half an hour a day. Is this correct or should I be paid minimum 1 hour work per day? I do not have any fuel allowance. Thanks

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Jane, thanks for your message. Generally ‘home to work’ travel time is not included in your working hours, so you should be paid for what you describe. If you have a verbal agreement to one hours pay per day, then this is what you should be paid. However, enforcing this will be more tricky, as if your Employer will not agree to do what they originally agreed, then you would need to try to take a case for breach of contract to an Employment Tribunal. And this may not be something you wish to do. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Susan

    Hi I work with a large company that offers live-in care, and thats what I do for them and one a recent placement I fell down the stairs in the middle of the night, and as a result I broke my big toe in 5 places, so I have had 6 weeks off work and my question is does my company have to pay my wages for this time? and also people have told me I should find out about compensation, so where would I find out more Thanks Susan

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Susan, your Employer has to pay you SSP for your time off if they don’t offer any occupational sick pay (i.e. they don’t necessarily need to pay your wages unless you contract with them says they will) – details are here http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/go-freelance-guide/sickness-and-statutory-sick-pay-ssp/
      With regards to compensation I’m afraid I can’t help you there, you’d need to find a lawyer who does compensation claims. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Elaine Love

    hi work in a care home i started there as a domestic and contracted to work 24 hours per week,i then went into the care side but my employer has not renewed my contract to state that i am now contracted 33 hours per week as a care assistant is this lawful.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Elaine you should have an amendment to your contract to reflect your new job/hours ideally yes. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Sandra fox

    I do sleepovers at work and the bed has all springs sticking up on the mattress it is terrible and I hardly get any sleep can I refuse to do sleepovers

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Sandra, the employer needs to provide you with reasonable sleeping arrangements so I would talk to them before refusing to do anything. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Lee Buzzersbaits Townsend

    hi I work in a care home and we do sleep over/in shifts, i:e we work from 4pm till 10pm then we sleep till 8am when the next shift arrives or we start the next shift ourselves. our employer does not supply a bedroom for us to sleep in, we have either a z-bed that we make up or we have the sofa bed, both of these are situated in the living room of the home, should we have our own private room? thanks

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Lee, thanks for your message. I don’t think the legislation is that specific, it should be comfortable and as private as possible I would imagine. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Lee Buzzersbaits Townsend

        ok thanks

        • Lee Buzzersbaits Townsend

          hi Lesley need some more advice please, I had my contract terminated from the said employer (that’s not the problem I’m very glad to be out of their lol) I never received any type of contract nothing at all I was only employed for about a 6 week period, when I was sacked I had never been paid before and was sacked about a week before my first payment, I have only received a part payment of what I worked (I have to presume this) because I have not received a payslip! I have asked for 1 and the reply came back that I would receive any outstanding monies owed on the next pay p45 will be sent out then as well? is she allowed to withhold money owing too me? and what about her withholding my p45? is she allowed to do all of this or am I within my legal rights to not only request these items but to demand them? I cant see why as i’m no longer employed and I earned said amount that she can withhold it? I cant see why she didn’t just make the one payment in full?
          thanks lee

          • lesleyfurber

            Hi Lee, they need to pay you for the hours you have worked. Whether they can delay your payment is partly going to depend on their pay cycle (when their payroll provider runs the payroll), there may be genuine reasons they cannot run this in one go (or there may not); it’s difficult for me to know. P45′s cannot be issued until the last payment has been made as far as I understand. You need to go back to them and ask why there is a delay and see if they can give you a reasonable answer. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Kerry

    Hi I’m working in supported living with people with learning disabilities I do 25 hrs a week this includes sleep ins I have reduced my sleeps from 4-5 a month to 3 a month as my child has a learning disability too so I currently do more day shifts to cover my hours but now I’ve been told my employer can no longer give me all these day shifts any more as she don’t have the hrs available they have offered me to go bk to my 4-5 sleeps a month or to do my 3 sleeps a month at the house I work in and finish the rest of my hours in another house are they allowed to do this ? When I took the job my daughter wasn’t diagnosed but now is so my needs have changed to accommodate my child to school n back etc as she is vulnerable and needs support going to and from school does my employer have to accommodate my needs..? I have to work 25 hrs a week to get working tax credits any help or info would be greatly appreciated thanks.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Kerry, thanks for your message. Does your contract specify your hours and when you reduced your sleep-in shifts was this confirmed in writing and was it for a set period of time or a permanent change? If it was a permanent change then your Employer is changing your contract, but they can do this, although must do this in a certain way. Your Employer should look to accommodate your needs if they can; but may not be able to do (depending on the size of their business, how well it is doing etc). Here are more details about changing your contract. http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/go-freelance-guide/written-statements-and-contracts/
      Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Kerry

        Hi yes my contract does say my hours no when I reduced my hours it was between myself and manager as I was going to ask for flexi hours but when I brought this subject up I was told that if we could arranged something between us to suit bot of us so that’s what myself n manager did my contract didn’t change as I was doing same hours but less sleeps as I did extra day shifts to cover the sleeps that I no longer was doing she not given me a new contract but has told me on the phone about not being able to accommodate all my hours anymore but I will be asking for new contract when we have a meeting in January as I have now decided to go to 16 hrs a week due to my child who has a disability needing me to take to and from school as she needs to be supported by an adult to do this. Thanks for the reply much appreciated.x

  • Tara

    Does anyone know how many people a care worker is legally allowed to care for on their own in a care home. I care for 10 people on my own per shift and wanted to know if this was legal ??

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Tara, thanks for your message. I’m afraid I can’t help you with this, but if you look at the last paragraph of this article that may point you towards organisations that can help. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Kirsty

    Hi. Can my co-ordinater in my work make us work alternative weeks 4 days on 3 days off then vice verse the following week cause i would have to cover all 4 shifts to get same hours i dont do the night round . I’ve never signed a contract with this company i transered over from another care agency never signed a contract ever. Thx

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Kirsty thanks for your message. Your Employer can set the appropriate shifts they require. If your question is about not getting the same hours each week, then it’s going to depend what number of hours you would be expected to work – it does not have to be the same each week if you are working shifts, as long as it averages out to the same amount of hours over a period of time. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • James Grierson

    Hi,
    I manage a large number of care staff who support adults with a learning disability in their own tenancies. Traditionally shifts have been based on a late/sleep over/ early, then days off. The local authority and trade union are now stating that these shifts are non compliant with working time regulations. However after much effort into looking at rotas we are now about to state to care staff that at times some of their shifts will be 12.5 hours long! As this is the only way to make the rotas work and be complaint. Is anyone else resolved this problem or is there an option for care staff to opt out as shift workers? I know that the support staff do not want these imposed on them, and frankly neither do I.
    Thanks!

  • lucy loo

    Hello

  • lucy loo

    Hi I work as a support worker and my employer has now stated that if a shift is not covered by another staff member,then it is our responsibility to ring round and find cover. If their is no one to cover the next shift then I will have to cover it. This also applies if a member of staff for the next shift has rang in sick. My circumstances of being a mum will not allow me to do this as I have not got anyone to collect my daughter from school at short notice. I also do 24 hour shifts as well. So where do I stand if this was ever to happen and I refused to do the shift. Could I be facing disciplinary action from my employer? Thanks

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Guest, it sounds like they might be changing your contract of employment if it already does not contain these details. You Employer can do this but they must do it in the right way – more details are here http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/go-freelance-guide/written-statements-and-contracts/

      You need to talk to your employer is you can and explain the problems you will have with this. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Stephanie Wilson

    I have just asked for 2 weeks holiday in Oct and have been told I can only have one – there is nothing in my contract to that effect and employment law states that you should be allowed to weeks if required – any advice would help.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Stephanie, thanks for your message. You employer can set their own rules about when you take your leave and how much you can take, so they have done nothing wrong. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Simone Gilchrist

    Hi there, i work for a private care company working with a client who is both mentally and physically draining, there is only mainly 2 of us who are allowed to care for her as she lives with her partner and he is very picky on who he allows into his home. We are normally in through the week while her partner is at work but at the weekend we are in all day to normally let her partner go out .. we do a nightshift on a saturday night and her partner comes home drunk and verbally abuses us, we have mentioned this to our manager who tells us to lock ourselves in a room putting a hoover against the door. In my eyes we shouldnt be allowed to do a nightshift but i would just like to know …..

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Simone, thanks for your message. When you say you shouldn’t be allowed to do a nightshift, do you mean from a safety angle? Your employer does have to take your health and safety seriously and they should be following this up with the client and her partner. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Steve

    Hi, just a quick question as I’m struggling to find a answer to it. I was required to undergo restraint training to work on a mental health secure unit. The training was mandatory in order to actually go onto the ward and work, however, the employer insisted that we all signed an agreement saying that, essentially, if we left the organisation within a year that we would have to pay for the training and I’m not sure that this is something employers are allowed to do legally. Any help would be appreciated.

  • mark

    Hi i work in a care home and have been informed that as of today i have to pay for my own training is this correct as i have do compulsory training as part of my job

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Mark, if the training is needed to do your job then your Employer should be paying for it at the time you have the training. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • mark

        Thanks Lesley you have just confirmed what i thought
        i am just in the process of joining unison so they are in for a bit of a shock when they ask me to pay for my manual handling course next month

      • Paula Marianne Spiller-Kerr

        Hi, i recently joined a care agency where the training was ‘free’ but if we leave within a year we have to pay the fees for the courses back, I’m not sure thats right either :/

  • TheHulksMothersCousin

    Thanks for your website advice. Hi I have two questions I wouldn’t mind if you can attempt an answer if you have the time.
    1- If an employee is asked to work and sleep at an employee or clients home when that sleepover period is also on call and can be interrupted after how many days can that employee refuse because they want to rest properly in their own home.
    2-What right does an employee have if his sleep is interrupted every time he works when its a mostly if not always a guaranteed interruption for even less than an hour, sometimes more?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi, thanks for your message. Your first question is difficult as if you ‘refuse’ to do this then you may be in breach of contract. You would expect (!) the Employer to schedule the sleep-in/on-call shifts so that they are not continuous so you do have proper rest. If you are an on-call shift then you would expect the sleep period to be interrupted; but you should be paid for all the interruptions when you are working. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • TheHulksMothersCousin

        What confuses me is the rest laws are supposed to be about health and safety and protecting the employee but it sounds like its allowing for an employee to have to work five continuous 14 hour days and 10 hour (very possibly interrupted) on call sleepover nights if the employer says so as on “opt out” the maximum hours of work are 78.

        If sleepover hours are not interrupted they are not counted in the 78 hours limit I’m being led to believe or if they are interrupted by only a hour or two over the 5 days the total hours may still may fall within the 78 limit based on 5×14 working hours + up to 8 sleepover hours interrupted.

        However that person has been in a tense environment for 5 full days and nights anyway and may not be able to sleep well.

        That sounds reckless to me endangering an employee and who he or she is caring for?

        • lesleyfurber

          Hi again, the minimum rest you should per week is 90 hours, are you getting that? Regards, Lesley, Worklin

          • TheHulksMothersCousin

            Thanks lesley but I was thinking of a friend. I would not be able to work those sorts of hours and sleepovers with the person i care for and i think a court of law would be behind me as it endangers both our health no mater what the bottom line of the law said. Im off with stress right now so surely there must be allowances in the law for endangering an employees health.

  • hepste

    Hi Lesley. I have a contract to work 19.5 hours per week.. More recently I am being asked to work no more than 4 or sometimes 3 hours in any one day, making my travelling time and expense disproportionately uneconomic. Does the employer have any obligation to offer me a minimum number of hours per day, or does the discretion lie entirely with them. Thanks.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Hepste, thanks for your message. If your contract guarantees you 19.5 hours work per week then that is what you must be paid for. If it does not specify a minimum number of hours per day then in reality your Employer does not have to offer you a minimum number of hours. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Graham

    Hi there all. Which union would you recommend for someone who works in a private care home? I’d like some support framework because I find the owner and senior management very intimidating.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Graham, I would look at UNISON or UNITE. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Matt

    hello
    I have been employed by a domicillary care company for 3 weeks. During my interview and induction days I was repeatedly told that I would be working within the area in which I reside ie 5 minutes walk/ drive) I reveived my first schedule a few weeks ago and was told I would be working in an area 16 miles from my home as there was no available work in my promised area. I am scheduled to work for 3/4 hours per morning then no work for upto 6 hours then expected to return to work for a maximum of 3 hours. I cannot return home for the 6 hours as it already costs me £10 per day in fuel to travel to work and back home again, so the company expects ,me to sit in a car for up to 6 hours with nowhere to go. Additionally I have a family to support I cannot afford to run backwards and forwards to work.
    I recently informed them in writing,that due to a change in circumstances,(ie not wanting to sit in a car for hours) I would not be working after a certain time. They rang up and said they could not cover certain shifts so I relented and stated I would do it for ONE day only. I have received next weeks schedule, they expect me to sit in a car for 6 hours for 3 days next week
    Is the company acting unreasonably?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Matt, thanks for your message. I don’t know what type of contract you have with the company and that is going to be important – whether they guarantee you a certain number of hours work per week and you are expected to work them. What they are expecting you to do is unreasonable but probably not unlawful. Depending on how you are employed/what your contract says, it may be that you can just say no to the work later on in the day, if this doesn’t work for you. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Matt

        Thanks for your reply. I have a various hours contract

        • lesleyfurber

          Hi Matt, it will depend if you have to work the hours they give you, or whether you can choose what you work. Regards, Lesley

  • Alex

    Hello there. I’m considering taking the care company I used to work for to an employment tribunal over issues with mileage. I have since left this company as I realised I was pretty much paying them for the privilege of care work. After a lengthy battle over getting them to pay me the mileage they owed me they agreed to deal with it. I put together an invoice for them detailing the amount of miles driven, and the payment owed calculated using the government rate of 45p per mile. They have paid me using a calculation of 16p per mile. A disgustingly insulting rate. Additionally they also took £6 off for (and I quote) “recovery” fees. This has seen me only £129 better off for driving over 800 miles for client home visits when I know for a fact I have spent much more on petrol for these visits. This particular company also refused to pay for training costs when asking me to travel to train in a town an hours drive from where I lived at the time. I could really do with some advice on how to deal with this farce of a company!!

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Alex, thanks for your message. I think as your main complaint about them is to do with mileage, it might be worth you calling the HMRC to discuss this with them, they may be able to advise how best to deal with this. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Emily

    Hi there, I work in a domicillary care service which has day shifts and waking night shifts, both 12 hours 8-8. Our company has gotten rid of on call to save money and now, when somebody rings in sick and if there is nobody that can cover the shift, the person on nightshift or one of the people on days has to then stay another full 12 hours. I don’t understand it can be legal to work 24hrs straight. We also dont take breaks as we were told if we wanted breaks other staff would have to come in for the 20mins we would be on break. Also, when a person rings in sick they often get a phone call from the manager saying “are you sure you can’t come in? If you don’t so-and-so has to stay for another 12 hours” which I consider emotional blackmail by using the strong loyalty and friendship between the support workers against them. Where can I get information to approach my management about this? I feel I need facts and laws or legislation to back up my argument as I find the managers very intimidating. Thanks, Emily :)

  • Homecarer

    Hi can you please give me some advice? Im a homecarer on zero hour contract today ive told the office that im finishing on friday there reply was you need to give 4 weeks notice. But im on a zero hour contact so choose my hours i work they said that if i dont work the notice i will never work in care again. So my questions are can i be reported to cqc for leaving my job without working my notice also who can i be reported to in social care to stop me working? Any advice would be helpful

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Homecarer, thanks for your message. You do need to give the notice that your contract specifies (unless you agree a shorter notice period with your Employer). It’s not a nice threat they are making, and I can’t see how they can mean it/do that – but I don’t know about the CQC, it might be worth phoning them to ask those questions directly of them. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • grant

    hi my wife recently started a job as a carer she has no qualifactions at all and was told she would have her nvq within 6 weeks of starting the job she has now been there for 6 weeks and has now been told she will not get her nvq or pay rise untill september as this is 6 months away if this legal? also she works with severe dementia patients and already has to do it alone she is bitten scratched and punched by resisdents on a daily basis she was told she would be shadowed until she got her nvq but only got shadowed for the 1st week my wife has not even done manual handling never mind any other training for the job is the all legal?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Grant, thanks for your message. Unfortunately I don’t know anything about NVQ or training requirements for her job so I can’t answer that question. It might be worth contacting the Care Quality Commission (details above) to ask them these questions. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Helen

    Hi. My mum is a care assistant at an independent nursing home who is currently going through an appeals process following a recent disciplinary meeting. Can you recommend an appropriate union she could join to have someone represent her as I don’t believe this has been carried out fairly??

    My mum was not and has not been provided with any witness statements, was told she was not allowed a copy of the minutes nor was she asked to sign them. Since forwarding her appeal she has been provided with a copy and has been asked to sign them. One of the alleged incidents relates to a client that passed away in January 2014 and goes back to November time last year?…..does any of this sound like correct proceedings to you. Any advice would be welcome. Thank you.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Helen, thanks for your message. Look at UNISON or UNITE. She should have been provided with witness statements, however there may be circumstances where this is inappropriate, depending on the situation – the same for the minutes. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Pam Wells

    My Daughter is a senior carer in a care home, working part time,two 12 hour night shifts a week. The manager has been expecting her to work a twelve hour night shift, finishing at 08.00hrs, attend a course/lecture on the same day mid morning then return to work that night at 20.00 hrs for another 12 hour shift. can you please advise me on the legal side of this because no-one can be expected to concentrate when so tired. Also, as a single Mother she has a 12 yr old child who comes home from school at 15.20 hours.
    Thank you
    Pam Wells

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Pam, thanks for your message. Your daughter’s employer is probably not breaking any laws here because the job she does would put her in the category of being ‘exempt’ from the rest break provisions above. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Pam Wells

        Thanks for replying Lesley.

  • kirsty leggett

    I have just started a new job as a care worker in a care home, I am now going to start my training after a month of being there but I will not be getting paid for my training but people have told me that’s not right so I just need some advice if you could help me?! Thankyou for you time, kirsty

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Kirsty, if you are employed by them then they must pay you for time that you are training that is related to your job. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • gail robertson

    Hi i am going on holiday with a client for 7 day how many days off am i entitled to when i come back thanks gail

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Gail, thanks for your message. You should be entitled to at least 1 days’ rest break if you have worked 7 days continuously, but this does depend how your Employer organises your weekly rest break (whether it is 1 x 24 hour continuous period every 7 days or 2 x 24 hour continuous period every 14 days). You need to ask your Employer. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • keith

    hi I am a male carer and have been asked to attend a call as a double hander to a female client but with a second carer also male ,is this allowed as I am unsure on this ?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Keith, thanks for your message but I’m sorry I can’t help you with this. You could contact the Care Quality Commission whose details are above to ask them. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Donna Williams

    As a support worker for adults with behaviour issues where do we stand if one of them puts us in hospital, whst are we entitled too in the way of sick pay and compensation for expenses occured ie prescriptions etc

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Donna, thanks for your message. You are entitled to sick pay from your employer but for other expenses you may need to make a personal injury claim (I think – sorry that’s outside of my field of expertise I’m afraid). Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Rommel Tresene

    hi sir! I just wanna know or how can we deal about this situation…The management has issued us a EXPLANATION SLIP.Here is their statement” Based on
    our records, u did not report for work on April 9 2014. ur failure to
    report for work was done in spite of d various advisories dated march
    28,april 2,7&8 as well as deployment sessions requiring u to do so
    which may constitute as Gross Insubordination under Article 282a of the
    Labor Code of d PhiIippine.Likewise ur failure to report for work was done in
    concert w/ other Union members w/c may constitute as ur participation
    in an illegal strike under Article 264 of the Labor Code of d Phils.

    Sir
    may I ask what is the ruling bout legal holiday, legal nonworking
    holiday & special holiday.? in lieu with this is it true that, it is
    the company’s prerogative to require us to report on our job on those
    declared regular holidays as stated in Article 94 of Labor Code of the Philippines ” The employer may require an employee to work on any holiday but such employee shall be paid a compensation equivalent to twice his regular rate ” if we did not report on work on said holidays and no commitment was confirm on our part ,is our employer has the right to penalize us?.Is
    there a violation on our part as an employee? thanks…

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Rommel, thanks for your message. I’m afraid I can only advise on UK employment law. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Lisa

    I would be very grateful if you could help me. I am possibly about to start working for a care agency. The owner of the agency told me that the agency is not my employer and that I wont be self-employed. The client pays the agency and the agency pays me. So, if I visit 10 clients a week….I have 10 employers. I thought I would have to register as self-employed. Confused and would like some advice. Many thanks in advance.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Lisa, thanks for your message. This does sound confusing, the agency must have some sort of contract with you as they are essentially providing you with the work, even if it is on a casual worker basis. They must give you something in writing to describe their ‘relationship’ with you so I would read this carefully and see what it says. Good luck, Regards, Lesley, Workline.

  • Elsie

    Hi there. I wondered if you could help me. I am a support worker for a known charity and we have recently been asked to drive our service users to and from work/day activities if it is further away that their taxi expenses allow. While I am more than happy to support our service users in this way, I feel that our manager has not fully discussed this with us as many of us have unsuitable vehicles for transportation (old vehicles that at times are unpredictable). We have been told that if we cannot drive the service users, we will not be given the hours. There are a number of us that are unsure of what to do and what our rights are in terms of refusing to drive our own vehicles. I hope you can help.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Elsie, thanks for your message. I don’t know what type of contract you have, how you are employed, so it’s difficult to give you much advice without knowing whether you are an employee or a worker (who have different rights). I would have expected the charity to research this issue about the use of private vehicles – because there must be insurance implications for them and you (which I don’t know anything about) as well as safety concerns and also mileage costs they need to pay you which have tax implications too. Can you go back to the charity and ask for more information as you have concerns? It might be worth talking to your insurance company too to see if they would allow you to do this – if they wouldn’t then that might be useful information to take to your Employer. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • janet

    Hi can u help I work for a care agency we have just been given a pay rise for clients who receive there care through social services but the clients who pay privately to the agency for care we are not receiving a pay rise even though the clients charges have gone up 3 per cent is this legal

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Janet, thanks for your message. I don’t think there is anything wrong with this, it’s just a recognition of the different systems. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Emily

    Hi, i commented two months ago with a query but i didn’t get a reply, i hoped you had just missed it so i thought i’d comment it again as it is still as issue.

    Hi there, I work in a domicillary care service which has day shifts and waking night shifts, both 12 hours 8-8. Our company has gotten rid of on call to save money and now, when somebody rings in sick and if there is nobody that can cover the shift, the person on nightshift or one of the people on days has to then stay another full 12 hours. I don’t understand it can be legal to work 24hrs straight. We also dont take breaks as we were told if we wanted breaks other staff would have to come in for the 20mins we would be on break. Also, when a person rings in sick they often get a phone call from the manager saying “are you sure you can’t come in? If you don’t so-and-so has to stay for another 12 hours” which I consider emotional blackmail by using the strong loyalty and friendship between the support workers against them. Where can I get information to approach my management about this? I feel I need facts and laws or legislation to back up my argument as I find the managers very intimidating. Thanks, Emily :)

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Emily, I remember your query and I did reply (sometimes I think the system goes a bit weird!). Basically your Employer is probably not doing anything wrong by the letter of the law – if you are in a 24 hour service environment or work shifts then there are no limits on how many hours you can work (and how much rest you get) on a daily basis; you just must get ‘compensatory’ rest for the period of the daily rest break you did not receive, at a later date. However, this situation can’t happen every day as you must have a minimum of 90 hours rest per week. Your Employer is responsible for your Health and safety so they must consider this when asking you to work for such long hours. So I’m afraid there is not much information I can point you too; and I’m sure your Employer knows the laws on rest breaks etc anyway. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Adam alhaj

    Hi everyone my name is adam my sister work for one care home at Tottenham for a year now. She s a permanent staff. Apparently she started experiencing bullying and harassment and intimidating by her manager. Because she whistle blow the abuse of clients to Cqc organisation and cqc said to her anyone whistle blow are protected. Yesterday she received a letter from the manager to attend an investigation meeting that she breach confidentiality coz she talked about clients to an old staffs. It’s like a set up the manager trying to do. Any advise plz

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Adam, thanks for your message. Yes, your sister is protected if she whistle-blows from a ‘detriment’ that happens to her – e.g. she is punished or dismissed because of it. More information is here http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/getting-a-job/whistle-blowing/
      Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • spiralvox

    hello there, im working in the domecllery care sector on 0 hours contracts i recently became ill with the flu and told my company that i was feeling unwell before i went to my doctors (which was the day after) the doctor told me to get some rest, gave me some pain killers, and told me to get a self cert. HOWEVER when i told them about what the doctor had said they refused to give me time off, saying there was no cover and too many girls were off sick, only giving me random times where someone could cover me, but this included working 8 hours without any breaks, i then got a thinly veiled message about the head management looking into other girls sick days (but my name was not on the list, therefore had nothing to do with me) was i entitled to time off? as the effects of not having much rest means i still have a long lingering aches, dizzyness and drowseyness and i did inform them i dont feel safe driving.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Guest, thanks for your message. I think it would be quite stupid of your employer to expect you to work, in a care environment, when you are ill. Your Employer does have a right to question staff sickness if they think it is excessive/too frequent etc; but this is normally after the sickness, and I can’t see applies here. You would be entitled to SSP if you meet the qualifying conditions – more info here http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/go-freelance-guide/sickness-and-statutory-sick-pay-ssp/
      Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Sinead Dillon

    Hi,
    I have been a support worker with the same company since Oct 2012 and have always been paid 7p per mile between clients and 10p per mile with client in the car. We have never been paid for travel time between clients. Having read some stuff online, I feel like I’ve been robbed!
    Is there a legal minimum that we should be paid per mile or is it at company discretion?
    Is it a legal requirement to be paid in travel time or is that at company discretion?
    Is there anyway I can claim money back if it is owed to me?
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated..
    Thanks :)

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Sinead, thanks for your mesage. If you need information on mileage allowances then please look at the HMRC website here. If
      you are paid less than the tax-free mileage amount, you are entitled to
      Mileage Allowance Relief. This means that if your employer pays you
      less than the maximum rate per mile for work journeys, you will be
      entitled to additional tax relief. You can fill in form P87 ‘Tax relief
      for expenses of employment’ which is on this link.

      It is a legal requirement that you are paid at least the minimum wage for your travel time that is in relation to your job (but not from home to work and back; only while you are at work) and your Employer will probably know this but be ignoring it.

      Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Trish Alderson

    HI all can anyone please advise me I was with a private care company and had issues with them

    from day one however I have just been informed that I can have a PA I sent in my letter to give notice however the day they received my email they phoned me next morning

    5 hours due to my carer to call and said my leaving was immediate so I had no carer that day. I have become very close to some l ladies and have thought about asking one of them to do my care. The contract says something about poaching (thought eggs got poached) and I am not sure where my lady who I am thinking of asking. Does anyone know what the care company can do to her and myself anything would be appreciated

    HI all can anyone please advise me I was with a private care company and had issues with them

    from day one however I have just been informed that I can have a PA I sent in my letter to give notice however the day they received my email they phoned me next morning

    5 hours due to my carer to call and said my leaving was immediate so I had no carer that day. I have become very close to some l ladies and have thought about asking one of them to do my care. The contract says something about poaching (thought eggs got poached) and I am not sure where my lady who I am thinking of asking. Does anyone know what the care company can do to her and myself anything would be appreciated

    V

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Trish, thanks for your message. I would be careful with this, many contracts of employment will include a non-poaching (or called non-dealing) clause; so that clients (you) cannot ‘steal’ the carer if they leave their employer. The Care Company may pursue this (they may not) which could involve them asking a Court to place an injunction on the Carer to stop her working for you and for you not to employ her; the Company would do this in order not to lose revenue (from you the client). Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Trish Alderson

        Thanks Lesley for your valuable information, I am shocked that a company can ask for a court injunction regarding this. The lady in question handed in their notice three weeks ago. In the past I have spoken about how unhappy I have been with the agency changing schedules but the icing on the cake was a week ago I asked one of my carers to pop my prescription into the chemist she said she used this one so I had no worries about it being handed in I have recently been diagnosed type 2 diabetes I told the carer that these were new insulin tablets and were important to take any way the upshot is when my husband called in to collect the prescription there was nothing in the chemist they double checked this was bank holiday weekend so I phoned the agency office to explain the situation they were rude and obnoxious saying that she wished the carer did not take the prescription in the first place, The night we found out that the carer had done something with the the prescription I had my fill of their antics and emailed them offering my cancellation 28 days or an amicable 14 days I just thought that I had enough. The following morning the manager phoned from the agency and said my termination was immediate and said that because I had people on my declient list they were finding it difficult to cover my care. She also has sent texts out to all staff to keep an eye out to see if anything is happening at “the client who is going private” this agency is known to follow staff who leave if the get a sniff that when the carer is leaving they don’t go to a person who was a client. My main reason for leaving was the medication carry on I had several phone calls with the manager she was rude and obnoxious and sounded so proud when she terminated me straight away.

  • katerina

    We are a care company and this week we have found out that 2 of our carers that only left last week have asked clients if they want them to be personal assistants for them, 4 of these clients have agreed and are finishing at the end of the week.
    Could you please advice if there is any action we should take and wether these 2 people would need the right legislation

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Katerina, thanks for your message. You need to look at your contracts of employment with the carers and also the service contracts with the clients to see if they contain ‘non-solicitation’ or non-dealing clauses. If they do not there will be little you can do. If they do contain these clauses, and they are ‘reasonable’ you may be able to prevent this from happening, but you would need to take advice from a lawyer first. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Louise

    I am a relief support worker working in a respite care home run by a charity. Would UNISON be the best choice of union for me?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Louise, yes you could look at UNISON; there may be others you can find too if you do an internet search. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Rhiannon

    My partner works as a support worker and is often at different houses around our local area. Yesterday he worked 2pm until 10pm, then today 7am until 10pm and the same tomorrow. While he is at work he has his lunch with the service users and does not get a proper break for himself.
    Is this company breaking the law? And is he entitled to a 11 hour rest break between shifts?
    He works these sorts of shifts on a regular basis and i worry for his health.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Rhiannon, thanks for your message. The company are probably not breaking the law as the job he does is likely to be exempt from the need for a 20 minute rest break (if you work over 6 hours) and a 11 hour daily rest break. However, if he does not get these breaks he should get the time he didn’t get as a break, as ‘compensatory’ rest as soon as possible. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Mark Didcote

    Hi. Was just looking for some advice about my partners working hours. She works in care looking after vulnerable adults with learning disabilities. Most of it is loan working. She is down to work the following hours over the next few days. Saturday 2pm till 9.30. Then sleep in at place of work( not normally woken but possible as 1 is epileptic ) start again at 8am Sunday till9.30 pm. Then sleep there again till 8am. She then can come home until she has to return to work at 2pm till 9.30 another sleep till 8am then work till 3pm. Is this pattern of hours legal as she regularly spends 30 hours plus there at a time. Thanks

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Mark, thanks for your message. Sleeping shifts where she is on-call at work do count towards her total working time. You need to look at the total hours she works over the ‘reference’ period, which is usually 17 weeks. Care workers are likely to be exempt from the daily and weekly rest breaks, as long as they get ‘compensatory’ rest afterwards. The maximum hours she should work is 78 hours per week. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Gingey

    Hi there. I am 19 years old and part of the 17% of male carers in the UK. I work in a private care home doing nightshifts. My working hours are 8pm to 8am. I was unaware that I had the option to undergo a free health assessment before doing nightshifts (I used to do dayshift). This was never mentioned to me before. How should I go about mentioning this to my employer? Also part of the night duty includes deep cleaning the entire building as well as maintaining the laundry and ironing. However my role is a carer not a domestic. I understand light housework is part of nightshift but I have heard my assistant manager before saying something along the lines of “if such and such gets burnt while ironing it’ll be deducted from your wages”. I am not sure if this is legal, any advice?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Gingey, thanks for your message. If you can you need to mention to your employer that you should have a health assessment before doing nightshifts. Your employer can deduct money from your wages, if this is reasonable for them to do so and that right is written into your employment contract. If you have nothing written in your employment contract about this then your Employer cannot deduct wages from you for this. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Rodger Williams

    Good day everyone I am Mr Rodger williams by name, i am a citizen of texas USA, i have been looking forward for a genuine loan company for the past 2 months and all i got was group of scams who made me to trust them and at the end of the day, they duped me of $700 without giving anything in return, all my hope was lost, i got confused and frustrated,i find it very difficult to feed my family, i never wanted to have anything to do with loan companies on net again, because i never trusted any loan company again since i was scammed, so i went to borrow some money from a friend, i told him all that happened and he said he can help me, that he knows a loan company that can help me, that he just got a loan from them, he directed me on how to apply for the loan, i did as he told me, i applied, though i never believed but i tried and to my greatest surprise my loan was granted to me within 24 hours, i could not believe, i am happy and rich again and i am thanking God that upon this scams all over the places a genuine company like this still exist, please i advise everyone out there who are in need of loan and can be reliable, trusted and capable of paying back at the due time of funds to contact ( eladioloancompany@yahoo.com ) they will never disappoint you, your life shall experience a total transformation.

  • Tony Williams

    Hello, I presently work about 40 hrs (supposedly part time) for a home care company. I do have a set rota which slightly changes from week too week but lately my Manager has been calling asking me to cover calls which is fine if they are local (as I received no fuel allowance) however they are always miles away and I use so much fuel to get to a 30 minute call that equates to no more than about £3.50 ish payment for the call. As a result I am in theory doing this call for absolutely nothing, no earnings. I explain this to her but she simply shouts over me saying that’s the nature of this job and I always do it as I fear she may sack me if I don’t. The problem is this is happening much more frequently (I assume no one else wants to do it either) Can I refuse to do this call as I am not earning anything from it ? I am on a zero contract hours contract part time up to 35 hrs. Your advice would be much appreciated… Thank you – Toni

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Toni, thanks for your message. Firstly, it might be worth you looking at the HMRC website here to see if you can claim any mileage allowances – http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/mileage/
      Also, you should be paid for the time you spend travelling on work purposes, so the time you spend travelling to the call should be paid too. If you are on a zero-hours contract that is genuine then there should be no obligation on your part to accept work from your Employer – similarly there is no obligation for them to offer you work. If they are demanding you work then they are blurring the lines of the zero-hours contract and in effect treating you like an employee. I’m not sure that will be very helpful as you need the job but that is the position. I hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Lynn

    I am a private carer and the client I look after is in hospital, how long can i expect to get payed full wage?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Lynn, I’m afraid that is difficult for me to answer. It depends who employs you, how you are employed and on what type of contract and how long you have worked there. If you are a permanent employee it is possible that if your client does not return from hospital then you would be in a redundancy situation if there is no further work for you with your employer. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • barson24o2 .

    Hi lesley
    I’ve been asked to take a service user on holiday for 7 days. I will be working 16 hours a day but only getting paid for 12 hours plus no sleep over money. Is this legal? What about the 90 hours weekly rest if I’m working the whole 7 days?

    • lesleyfurber

      HI Barson, thanks for your message. The only rules on pay is that you must be paid at least the national minimum wage for all the hours you work – so you need to work out what hours you work and multiply this by the minimum wage and compare this to the pay you actually receive. If you don’t receive 90 hours rest then I’m pretty sure the ‘compensatory’ rest rules apply here, so you should receive the rest you didn’t get as soon as possible afterwards. Hope that helps. Good luck. Lesley, Workline

  • Mae

    Hi, my employer sent an email to all employees last night stating that they will now be operating a global expenses system to ensure our tennants are safeguarded against financial abuse. I do believe this is important however I am not sure how I am gonna be able to afford to support individuals to the cinema, day trips, on the bus, train and taxi if I have to pay for this and claim the money back later. Surely this could impact on the individuals right to access local amenities and integrate if I am not able to pay to take them on the bus and pay for to use the swimming pool etc. Please help. Any advise or give me to info on work law as my wage is low and im not sure how I am going to be able to support people in the way the have the right to be supported.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Mae, thanks for your message. You need to discuss this with your employer as you are unlikely to be the only one affected by this change; you need to explain to them that you cannot afford to do this unless they can pay you up front for the expenses. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Ras

    skss

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Ras, thanks for your message and apologies for the delay in replying as I’ve only just seen it. Your Employer has the right to accept or refuse your annual leave requests, or request when you take your leave. They should make every attempt to ensure you can take your statutory minimum entitlement (28 days including bank holidays) in the leave year, although they no legal obligation to ensure you have taken this.

      They do not have to pay you for any untaken leave at the end of the year (they cannot pay you for outstanding holiday unless you leave the company); they may allow you to carry over leave you have not taken (but they have no legal obligation to do this). You need to find a compromise with them, i.e. a good time for everyone for you to take the leave.
      Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Carl Davies

    Hi. My partner started working for a Home care company in June.
    She stated when applying for the job that she wished to work no more than 3 days with a maximum of 30 hours per week and she required every other weekend off.
    Before starting work she had to complete a 40 hour training course, which was completely unpaid.
    She does not remember ever signing any form which opts out of the maximum 48 working hours per week.
    Her first week she was rota’d in to work 36 hours over the space of 3 days.
    Every week since then she has been rota’d in to work anything between 48 and 53 hours over 5 or 6 days a week and she is often called during her time in between calls to attend to more.
    Out of a full week, she will be rota’d on at least four days to start work at 7am and finish work at 11pm. She may get a two hour gap during the afternoon. Meaning many days she gets home at 11.30pm and must wake up the following morning at 6am.
    If there is an emergency at one of her calls and she is required to stay there longer than she is rota’d to, she does not get paid any additional wages to cover her time.
    She is working for 10p more than the national minimum wage, but she feels that after her fuel costs (which are nowhere near covered to the amount of fuel she is putting in her car). In a month she’ll get around £60 fuel allowance but she will have used around £120′s of fuel. The company claims they are paying 18p per mile… so clearly they are under estimating the miles she is covering.

    Even when she does have a day off they are calling her asking her to work. And out of the entire time she has worked there she has only ever had one weekend off work (when she is supposed to have half of them off).

    More recently she has made it apparent to the office staff that she is unhappy working these excessive hours. She is literally out of the house for up to 16 hours per day, for 5 or 6 days a week, yet she is only being paid for the time she spends actually on call (48 to 53 hours out of up to 80 hours she spends out of the house), and even though they acknowledge that they are giving her too many hours they continue to rota in her to work twice as many days and almost twice as many hours as she originally requested when joining them.
    This company seems to constantly be under staffed – I wonder if it’s because of how unreasonable their demands are of their staff. Their excuse is always that there are too many staff off on holiday or sick, but surely they should still be putting her down for her requested amount of hours and then ‘asking’ her if she is able to help out by working some more… instead of giving her double the work and then still asking more of her.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Carl, I’m going to reply by e-mail. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Paula1

    Hey! I work as a live-in carer. The man I take care of is paralysed from the neck down and he requires 24/7 care. He usually wants to go to bed around 11-12 pm and I need to be there to wake him up at 9pm. I work 7 days a week, 3 weeks a month. I’m allowed to leave the house for 2 hours per day. The company is paying me 395 pounds per week. As a migrant worker I am not sure what are my rights and if this really is the way it supposed to be. Thanks in advance!

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Paula, thanks for your message. If you are getting 1 week off per month then that would satisfy your need for a weekly rest break. Do you get chance to sleep when he goes to bed, so you get rest? You should receive the National Minimum Wage of £6.31 for every hour you work (if you are aged 21 or over – more details are here http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/getting-a-job/the-minimum-wage-tvfilm-industry-rates-agency-workers-and-unpaid-work-experience/ ) but you generally do not include the time you are on a break or resting/sleeping at night as working hours. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Paula1

        Thanks for a quick reply. I’m 22 and yes I do get to sleep at night but the problem I’m having is that they’re basically paying me for 9 hours of work per day (minimum wage) but I can only leave the house for 2 hours, once a day. It’s the only break I have. So should I really get paid for just those 9 hours?

        • lesleyfurber

          Hi Paula, if you do not do any work during the night but work from 9am – 11pm with 2 hours break then 9-10 hours sounds about right. Regards, Lesley

  • hepste

    Hi Lesley. By the way, you do a great job on here. I am a care worker on a 19.5 hrs per week contract. My annual leave allowance is pro-rata’d at that given to someone on full time. However, I generally work more like 27hrs per week (at the same hourly rate), at the request of my employer, and my agreement. My employer says that the annual leave entitlement cannot be increased in line with the increased hrs, and must remain in line with the pro rata amount based on contracted hours. Surely can’t be right can it?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Hepste, thanks for your kind comments! At the moment you only need to get annual leave for your contracted hours, and not for hours worked on top. However, there are currently cases at the Employment Appeals Tribunal as recently there have been several cases where Employment Tribunals have decided that holiday should be received for all overtime worked. You can read more details here – the Appeals decision should be known in the next couple of months; so at the moment your Employer can get away with this, but in the future they probably won’t be able to. http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/legal-advice/calculating-holiday-pay-confusion/
      Hope that helps! Regards, Lesley

    • Debbie Brown

      They are right, you are agreeing to overtime only

  • Vernon Ellis

    Hi, my wife has been a support worker at a care home for 5 clients with learning difficulties for 12 years, and is now expected to do Care worker duties for the elderly in their own homes. is this right/legal

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Vernon, I can’t help you with this I’m afraid. You could speak to the Care Quality Commission (details above) and ask them. Regards, Lesley, Workline

    • Debbie Brown

      Check your contract….my guess it states you can be asked.let me know :)

  • jackie

    I work as a support worker, I was told I had to have business insurance for the job. twice my car has been damaged and vandalised by service users, who pays for the damage to my car? why do I have to have the extra insurance?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Jackie, I’m afraid I can’t help you with this as I have no knowledge of insurance – you should ask an insurance provider for their advice. Regards, Lesley, Workline

    • Debbie Brown

      You would have a claim against the employer. You also cannot be forced to have business insurance.

  • hepste

    Hi Lesley. In my role as Care Worker, I submit monthly travel claims. I am expected to sign each claim, to say they are in accordance with policies and procedures. I have repeatedly asked to be supplied with that information in it’s entirety, but to date only received unofficial e mailed “bit parts” or word of mouth information, that may or may not be authentic, or possibly be taken out of context. Does my organisation have a legal responsibility to supply all it’s employees with all of it’s policies and procedures relevant to the work being undertaken, and in what form should it be made available?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Hepste, yes your employer should provide you with access to all policies and procedures that affect you. This can be pinned to a notice board, on a company website, by e-mail, printed out of you – in any format that suits the workforce. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • hepste

    Thanks for your reply. In the event that the documents requested are not forthcoming, and in this case, made in writing and during discussions over 6 weeks ago, what recourse do I have. I note the FOI Act only relates to public bodies.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Hepste, I’m afraid there is not a lot you can do. However, it might be worth a chat with Acas to see what they advise. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Kirsty Matlock

    Hi Lesley, I have a few queries regarding my work, the first being that when does a sleep-in night shift change to a waking night, I do a 9 hr shift 4x a week from 10pm to 7am, my client goes to bed around midnight and gets up at 5am so that’s almost half a shift spent awake. My 2nd query is that I am zero hr contract which states to work as required, can my employer add hours onto the end of my working day with 40 mins notice when iv already worked 14 hours? The 3rd query is do clients have to pay for petrol if they want to go out for the day in my car, nothing is in the contract regarding this except that an additional £1 per hour for every staff member to cover fuel for travel time, my understanding is that travel time is for between clients, not for the use of clients
    Thankyou, kirsty

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Kirsty, thanks for your message. Basically, the difference between the shifts is if you can sleep or not. A sleep-in is a night shift where you sleep at the workplace, so you are available to support people during the night. A waking night shift means you must stay there overnight and work as you would during the day, so there is usually no ability to sleep. You should be paid for the hours you actually work during the night. Your second question is difficult because if you were on a ‘proper’ zero-hours contract then you should be free to accept work or not. I don’t think there is anything legally wrong with your employer doing this, although it’s clearly not good scheduling practice on their part. Regards petrol, your employer should be letting you claim that back from them, because yes travel time is between clients. There are details about mileage allowances here http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/mileage – you may be eligible for mileage allowance relief. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Kirsty Matlock

    Hi Lesley thankyou for your reply:) I do have another question that has arisen this week. We have been told to do mandatory training through a distance learning course. This training is going to take a lot of hours to complete at home. Our contract says that we are paid for training. Do my employers have to pay us for training that is done online at home??
    Thankyou

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Kirsty, yes they should pay for you to do training that is required by your job. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • hepste

    Hi Lesley. 1. If I am claiming mileage allowance for a journey, by definition am I classed as at work, and therefore entitled to paid travelling time?
    2. In respect of activities undertaken with a service user, in the absence of clear policies, what obligations (legal or other) am I under to complete WRITTEN risk assessments?

    • lesleyfurber

      hi Hepste, if the journey is between clients (for example) then this is working time and so should be paid. I’m afraid I can’t answer your risk assesment question, it’s not my field – you could see if http://www.cqc.org.uk/ can help you.
      Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • mandy freeman

    Hi I’m looking for a little advice before this drives me crazy.
    I’ve been looking after a disabled lady and 2 dogs for just over 2 years now I sleep every Saturday night I start at 5 pm and finish 9 am Sunday, so from 5-8 I get £7.75 p/h 8-10 is bathing time and that’s £10.25 then from 10pm untill 6am just £31 for sleep. My quiry is although she doesn’t go to bed at 10 it could be midnight sometimes when she is put to bed it’s not a straight through sleep she could get me up 6 times through the night. Now £31 to me from 10-6 with less then 2 hours sleep at a time is RUBISH.. Iv asked about her being reassed so we could perhaps get a little more but all that happened was she got her accountant in and only her no other carers as such was there to hear what was said. Anyway he says there is no extra money to give. I find it rather st

    • lesleyfurber

      HI Mandy, thanks for your message. If you read this post here http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/legal-advice/sleeping-on-the-job-clarity-regarding-the-national-minimum-wage-and-some-information-about-sleep-deprivation/ you will see that this year there has been some clarity about sleep-over shifts, where in some instances you should be paid that national minimum wage for all the hours you are on the premises, even if you are sleeping (where you are required to be on the premises). I can’t comment whether £31 is good or not, but if you add up your earnings over that shift and divide it by the hours you work I don’t think you are earning the NMW (£6.50 per hour) – I’ve only done this quickly so you need to check this. It would be worth pointing this out to them! Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Jeni

    Hi, I’m looking for a bit of advice about my working breaks etc. I’m a domiciliary home care worker, so i spend most of my day driving around the area to each of my clients houses, i finish work at approx. 21:45 and start again the following day at 7am. (which realistically speaking means I only manage to get about 7 1/2 – 8 hours of sleep a night) do the regulations of 11 hours continuous rest apply for my work role? Also, I am usually given about 15-30 mins between each call (which is the amount of time it takes to get to the next place) does this count as a break? As i’ve been led to believe that it does, however i usually find that because it takes me that long to get to the next location – i very rarely have a chance to eat or drink between 7am and 21:45. Thankyou in advance.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Jeni, thanks for your message. If your role is one that needs to provide round the clock care then you could be exempt from the 11 hour rest break. Once you stop work until you when you start work again is counted as the rest period (no travelling back home is counted etc). You are due a 20 minute rest break if you work over 6 hours and travelling between appointments is not counted as rest time. Hope that helps. Lesley, The HR Kiosk

  • gary

    i work as a support worker for LD and my company are bringing in the unpaid 20 min break when we work over 6 hours, myself and my colleagues are wondering if we can opt out of this as we do not want to increase our daily working hours

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Gary, thanks for your message. As far as I am aware you cannot opt out of this as it is there for the purpose of giving you a rest/health and safety. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

  • Dan

    Hi, my partner is a carer. She goes to work at 4pm and gets home at 11pm, thats 7 hours but she only gets paid for 3.5 hours! they say it is because she is only with clients for 3.5 hour and the rest of the time in between the 3.5 hours she is told to wait around in a car park till she goes to the next client! is this legal? At work for 7h, only get paid for 3.5h?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Dan, thanks for your message. No that is not legal, they must count the time she spends going between clients as part of her ‘working time’ too, so she needs to be paid for all of that as well. That may not necessarily mean she has to be paid for the full 7 hours but she needs to be paid for her ‘travel time’ (whatever that is). Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

      • Dan

        Thank you, she is going to bring this up with the Boss.
        Thank you again,
        Dan

  • kate

    Hi.Im working as a carer.During work betweem calls when I came out from client house I had a Fall and broken my leg.Is this an accident at work?I have spoken with one girl from office she told me that I will get SSP £87.55?I dont know how does IT treat?IT wasnt my fault,surface was slippy.So in my opinion this is an accident at work and they should Pay me 100%.Am I right?
    Thanks
    Kate

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Kate, I’m afraid I don’t know whether this would be an accident at work or not (You could try to contact the Health and Safety Executive they might be able to tell you). However, if it was an accident at work your Employer does not need to pay you 100% salary as far as I am aware. If your Employer only normally pays SSP then that is what they will pay you. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

  • Mrs r

    Hi I’m a support worker in a day centre working with people with high health and physical needs and I work a 7 hour day we don’t get breaks but we can eat whilst working is this legal? It’s always been that way so I don’t think anyone questions it
    Thanks

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Mrs R, you should be entitled to a 20 minute break if you work over 6 hours; but you are possibly in an ‘exempt’ group because of the job you do. However, there was an in 2014, an unreported case (so we only know the name of the
      Claimant not the Care Home he worked for), where an Employment Tribunal found
      that a care service provider was in breach of the WTR for not
      incorporating daily rest breaks and daily rest periods into a support
      worker’s shift pattern and for failing to offer compensatory rest. The
      Care Home employed approximately 150 staff with 25 managers. The
      Claimant, Mr Hood, claimed that there had been a number of occasions
      when he had not been permitted to take a rest break and that he had not
      been granted a full daily rest period an average of 3-4 times per month
      in a year. The Care Home’s staff handbook stated that rest breaks away
      from the service user were not to be taken during a shift. The Care Home
      argued that it was uneconomical to provide support to cover the
      occasions when Mr Hood was not granted his daily rest period. The
      Tribunal agreed that the service the Care home provided fell into the
      category of services that was exempt; however Mr Hood had not been
      offered compensatory rest periods. The Tribunal found it difficult to
      understand why the home could not organise shifts so as to allow daily
      rest periods for its employees, as the home allowed employees who smoke
      to take a break during their shift and for that break they were covered
      by a Manager. The Tribunal felt a manager could also cover for rest
      breaks and that these rest breaks could be easily incorporated into the
      worker’s shift.

      This decision was not binding and was dependant partly on the size of the care home I expect. Not sure that will be of much help to you as clearly you would need to raise the issue with your Employer, which may be something you don’t need to do.
      Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

  • UTD Fan

    Hi, I’d be very grateful if you can advise me on a query I have. I worked at a care home 3 years
    ago. When I worked there I went on a Residents holiday where another member of staff took 3 men that we cared for away as part of our work. The residents holiday was for seven nights. All we got paid for was our normal 37 weekly hours and a day off in lue if our normal day fell on a day we were away. I worked from 7am to midnight with no breaks. The only additional payment we received was for £45 per night sleep in allowance on top of the 37 hours we were paid. Should we have been paid for the full hours?

    • lesleyfurber

      hi UTD Fan, I’m afraid there is no way you could claim for any additional hours now, if you were due them, as all claims normally need to be made within 3 months of the ‘event’. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

  • bab

    Hi, I work 16 hours a week as a carer in a residential home. I have been told that I need to attend a training course (unpaid) from 6pm to 8.30pm on two evenings next month. I am a single parent and have no childcare in the evening, my daughters bedtime is 7pm so not prepared to bring her with me. Do I have to attend? I have worked there for a year and have no contract. Thanks in advance.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Bab, it’s probable you would need to attend this, yes – however they should pay you for any work related training. Can you talk to them about the situation? Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

  • LOULOU

    i work in a care home where i do sleepover shifts. when on 0800×2300 shift at 2300 i have to clock out and stay in a sleepover room but i am on call if needed. am i insured to be on the premises and if i am needed do i clock back on/off ?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Loulou, you should be insured to be on the premises but you need to ask your Employer that. If you work while on sleep-over then I guess you should clock back on, but again you should ask your Employer if they require you to do this. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

  • andy

    i have a friend who works for a mental health charity and does a sleepover 3pm to 9am but is lone working during the nigt looking after 6 people i think this may be illegal

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Andy, thanks for your message. This is a care standards issue and I can’t help you with that. The Care Quality Commission (details above) may be able to help. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

  • Kooky

    Hi there, great site and great job! I have a query, I am a home carer with a 0 hours contract, a client wants to take me on as a private carer for them as I am setting up my own business instead of working for the company. It is the clients choice to move to me and I did not push them, I have never received a contract from my work and what I agreed to work for them when i started is nothing like what I actually do for them, can i just leave and work for this client (and others) without them (or me) getting into any trouble?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Kooky, thanks for your kind words!. If you don’t have a contract do you have access to a Company Handbook – there may be ‘restrictions’ covering you that would not let you work with any current clients (of the employers) for a period of time after leaving; and these can be valid if drafted well. Similarly, the Client may also have ‘restrictions’ in any contract she has with your Employer – saying that she won’t ‘poach’ the employers staff. I would have a dig around to see if you can find anything similar. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, The HR Kiosk

      • Kooky

        Hi Lesley and thanks for replying :) No i dont have access to any paperwork as its kept at the company head office which isnt near me and I dont go there. There is only a support plan that the client has signed it doesnt state anything about restrictions on there but no contract.

        • lesleyfurber

          Hi Kooky, if you can’t phone the head office and ask for a copy of their handbook, then you will need to decide if you want to take the ‘risk’ of their restrictions covering your employment (but the fact you did not know about them should be in your favour!). Good luck. Regards, Lesley