North Ayrshire Council congratulated for adopted UNISON’s Ethical Care Charter

Councillors from North Ayrshire Council, with representatives of UNISON and North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership

North Ayrshire Council has adopted UNISON’s Ethical Care Charter, to ensure the delivery of high standards in homecare and better conditions for homecare workers. This is great news for vulnerable service users, their families and homecare staff.

The Ethical Care Charter was developed by UNISON further details can be seen on this website. THe Charter was developed following concerns raised across the UK in UNISON report Time to Care. We also had a similar report here in Scotland. North Ayrshire is the third council in Scotland to sign our charter. Following Inverclyde and Renfrew Council. Each deserves credit for doing so.

Iona Colvin of North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership (signing charter) with Joe Cullinane Leader of North Ayrshire Council (middle) and Louise McDaid UNISON (left of Joe)

The charter is one part of our campaign to imrpove social care for both the workforcfe and the standards of homecare vulnerable people were getting. OUr time to care report highlighted fears that poor terms and conditions for staff were leading to lower standards of care for mostly elderly and vulnerable people who use homecare services. terms and conditions of the workforce go hand in hand with improvement of standards.

The Charter’s aim is to ensure social care workers have the time they need with clients rather than be restricted to a specific time slot. It will also mean they are paid for their travel time and costs. Where possible people will see the same homecare worker and zero hour contracts will not be used in place of permanent contracts.

Staff will also be paid at least the Scottish Living Wage and will be covered by an occupation sick pay scheme to ensure that staff are not presurised to work when they are ill – which also protects the welfare of their vulnerable clients.

Louise McDaid, secretary of UNISON North Ayrshire branch said ‘We are delighted that North Ayrshire Council is one of the first councils in Scotland to adopt UNISON’S Ethical Care Charter. It demonstrates our shared commitment to ensure improved quality of care for some of the most vulnerable people in North Ayrshire.

Social care workers provide a life line service for vulnerable people. And signing up to the UNISON charter shows commitment to a highly skilled workforce and those they care for. The workforce need fair work, better pay and ethical employment practices. It will help improve standards and retain highly valued staff in all homecare providers across Ayrshire.  We look forward to working with North Ayrshire Council and others to improve our care services across the region.’