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Alzheimer's Society: UK Care workers miss out on national minimum wage

Category: Industry News, charity, Employee, care workers

UK Care workers miss out on national minimum wage

More than a tenth of UK care workers are being paid less than the national minimum wage of £6.50 an hour, says a study by think tank The Resolution Foundation.

According to the study, about 160,000 carers are losing an average of £815 a year. Many firms are wrongly not paying staff as they travel between clients, go on training or when 'on call'.

The care sector employs around 1.4 million in the UK, and the research by The Resolution Foundation said the total amount that care staff were missing out on was estimated to be around £130 million a year. This could be even higher due to some non-compliance with minimum wage regulations.

George McNamara, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Alzheimer's Society comments:

'It's disgraceful and unacceptable that dedicated care workers are being devalued and subjected to these pay conditions. It is vital that the government acts to end this scandalous practice, which denies workers from getting the minimum wage and tackles the low levels of pay across the sector.

'Two thirds of people with dementia currently live in the community and many will have to rely on help with day-to-day tasks. With an ageing population, more and more people are going to need care in their own homes and low salaries will deter people from an already demanding profession. We need to invest in care workers and ensure that they are given the support they need to provide the best care possible. The current social care system is broken and urgently needs to be fixed - otherwise we'll all be paying the price in the future.'

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