Some of the city’s lowest paid workers are set to get a big pay rise after the council and unions got contractors to agree to pay them the Living Wage – including for time spent travelling to work.
Up until now, home care workers in Brighton and Hove had been paid the minimum wage – and only for time spent in clients’ homes, not on the road between jobs.
But from September, they will be paid £8.25 per hour for all their working hours, and be able to claim back expenses such as mobile phone bills.
Clients are set to benefit to, as carers will be given the freedom to provide appropriate care and time to talk to their client, with 15 minute visits no longer used.
The contract renegotiation was welcomed by Brighton and Hove Unison, which has been working hard to ensure basic standards of employment by outside providers of home care.
And staff will have the choice of either fixed term contracts or nil hours (if they want flexibility of work)
A spokesman for Brighton and Hove Unison said: “This has certainly gone a long way from previously, where staff were being paid under the minimum wage because of not being paid for travel time/costs etc. Many of our members working for such employers had a very rough deal and this charter goes a long way to addressing that.”
Daniel Yates, chair of Brighton and Hove City Council’s health and wellbeing board, said: “The council signed up to the principle of Unison’s ethical charter and when we were in the position of renegotiating the home care contracts around the city, it was obviously the right time to be putting it in place.
“It’s not just about terms and conditions for staff but also about recognising the difference those staff make to protecting the most vulnerable people in the city.”