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Care workers losing out on national minimum wage

A care worker from Bolton has been awarded more than £3,000 after challenging her employers over withheld travel time payments.

Judith Montgomery generally worked 15 hours a day on a split shift basis but her employers, Bolton based Servacare would not pay for the time she spent travelling between her clients, leaving her underpaid by £60 a week.

Speaking to the Bolton News, Mrs Montgomery said: “My service users became like a family to me and I didn’t want to let them down. I worked on a zero-hours contract and would be paid only for the time spent in my client’s homes, never for the time spent travelling between them, so I could be paid for 30 hours a week but actually worked many more.

She added: “I started work at 7am doing breakfasts, and would get home after the bed run at 10.30pm, yet I would only get paid for six or seven hours. I’d be on the go all day, I was shattered and it took a toll on my health.”

Unions have said that there is a widespread failure to honour the minimum wage for many homecare workers who can spend as much as 20% of their working day travelling between home visits.

Sarah Naylor, specialist employment solicitor at Atherton Godfrey, commented: “Sadly, this is not an isolated case. Carers are providing a vital service by helping the elderly and disabled to maintain their independence.  Travel is a necessary part of their job, and often clients are several miles apart.

The law is clear on this point; employers must pay for the time spent travelling between clients and refusal to pay can in fact be seen as an unlawful deduction of wages.” 

If you have an employment issue, talk to us. We are experienced employment law solicitors and can give you the expert advice you need. Call 01302 320621 or email info@athertongodfrey.co.uk

 

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