Milton Keynes has become the latest council to sign up to UNISON’s Ethical Care Charter, part of the union’s Save Care Now campaign.
UNISON branch secretary Graham Blues welcomed the council’s move, saying it “demonstrates a clear commitment to ensure that staff are properly rewarded and respected for the work they do with vulnerable people in our communities.
“Home care workers are dedicated to providing the best care that they can,” he added.
“The council’s adoption of the charter enables good employment conditions and quality training, which helps to reduce staff turnover and improve the quality of care for service users.”
Council leader Pete Marland said that signing the charter is “a huge step to improving the care our elderly or vulnerable people receive.
“It seeks to ensure that people are given the highest quality care by guaranteeing the people who provide it are well paid and have the time to care for people.
He added that “we will pay the living wage, not use zero hours contracts and not use 15 minute care visits,” and signing the charter “will give those that need care confidence in their services.”
The charter sets out minimum standards for care at home, for the people who receive it and the workers who provide it.
As well as committing signatories to the living wage, banning zero-hours contracts and 15-minutes visits, it says that people should have the chance to get to know their homecare worker and, where possible, should keep the same one.
It also says that visits should be long enough to allow plenty of time for tasks such as help with personal care to be carried out with dignity, and that workers should not have to rush from client to client.