UNISON comment on UK government’s decision to extend the suspension of social care minimum wage:

UNISON is working hard, with employers across Scotland, to ensure that social care staff’s pay is compliant with the National Minimum Wage regulations. Penalties are needed to make sure unscrupulous employers abide by the law.

The UK government extended amnesty is a green light for poor employers to carry on paying illegal wages without fear of ever being punished. In the absence of fines or the public shaming of any firm found guilty of poverty pay, the UK’s national minimum wage law is undermined.

Deborah Clarke, UNISON’s head of community in Scotland said: “We work hard to ensure employers comply with National Minimum Wage average pay for our members who work sleepovers. The vast majority of the charities that UNISON work with are now making the correct payments to staff and we would urge our members to contact their local UNISON branch if they believe their wages are incorrect.

“No government or employer is above the law. By suspending enforcement, ministers may well have been acting unlawfully, using powers they don’t have. Ministers must get tough with the minimum wage cheats, and give low-paid care staff a decent pay rise and put more money into the care sector.”

The UK government announced a further one-month suspension of minimum wage enforcement concerning sleep-in shifts in the social care sector to minimise disruption to the sector and seek to ensure workers receive the wages they are owed. This follows July’s decision to waive all historic penalties in the sector where employers incorrectly paid workers a flat-rate for sleep-in shifts instead of hourly rates read full decision here:

UNISON is the largest trade union in UK and Scotland representing social care workers.

UNISON Contacts
• Deborah Clarke, 07538 101225
• Danny Phillips, 07944664110