Who has signed up already?
See which councils have signed up already and what they said about it.
Cllr Janet Burgess, deputy leader of Islington Council and executive member for health and wellbeing:
"Home carers do a vital job helping older and vulnerable residents live with dignity and independence in their own home. We believe clients benefit from a higher quality of care when properly rewarded home carers take pride in the work they do."
"Home carers are the unseen foundation of social services, providing a vitally important function allowing vulnerable residents to live in dignity and with a significant level of independence in their own homes.
"We think paying a fair day's pay for a hard day's work helps to drive standards higher."
Councillor Richard Watts, Leader of Islington Council:
"No-one should do a hard day’s work for less than they can live on. Islington Council have signed this Charter to say we reject poverty wages for home carers and say yes to guaranteed employment, London Living Wage and recognition for a job well done."
Sandy Marks, Chair of Islington's Personal Budgets Network:
"This is a fantastic opportunity to pay our personal assistants the London Living Wage.
"We welcome Islington Council's commitment to pay this and on a personal note, I will be paying my home carer, Victoria, the LLW."
Catherine McDonald, cabinet member for adult social care, health and equalities at the time Southwark adopted the Charter:
"I am delighted that Southwark has signed up to the Ethical Homecare Charter. It is utterly unfair that those who provide crucial home-caring services to our most vulnerable people are often forced to be on zero hours contracts, meaning no guarantee of work or pay.
"We are tackling this by signing up to this Charter in full, and we have already brought in the London Living Wage. Homecare services provide essential support to vulnerable people with social care needs to help them live safely and independently in their own homes. It stands to reason then that the quality of these services should be the best.
“I believe that having a better paid, better skilled and well-motivated workforce in our community will help ensure high quality care, reducing unnecessary demand for hospital services.”
Reading’s Lead Member for Adult Social Care, Councillor Rachel Eden:
“Ensuring dignity, quality and choice for older and disabled people using homecare is only possible if their carers are also being treated fairly. This charter marks the commitment from Reading Borough Council to work with UNISON and care providers so that homecare contributes to a fulfilling life for residents who need it and provides a decent living for carers.”
Renfrewshire Council Leader Councillor Mark Macmillan:
"I am delighted to be able to support UNISON's Ethical Care Charter. Home carers do a vital job helping older and vulnerable residents live with dignity and independence in their own home. We believe clients benefit from a higher quality of care when properly rewarded home carers take pride in the work they do. Renfrewshire Council pays its own home care workers the living wage and we successfully negotiated with employers in the private sector to pay their 300 staff the living wage too.”
Jennifer Mein, leader of Lancashire County Council:
"We are committed to making sure that people across the county receive the high quality homecare that we would all want for our loved ones – and for ourselves.
"This means recognising everyone who receives homecare as an individual person, with his or her own particular needs, together with rewarding homecare workers properly for the vital services they provide every day to thousands of Lancashire people.
"The Ethical Care Charter sets the benchmark for the future of homecare in Lancashire, and we are very proud to have signed up to it."
Councillor Sarah Hayward, Leader of Camden Council:
“Despite facing our toughest financial challenge ever, we are committed to investing in this area where we know it will have the biggest impact on the lives of our most vulnerable residents.
“We have already started work on how we will introduce the Charter has and we expect to ensure all homecare workers are paid the London Living Wage by February 2017.
“As a living wage borough, we know only too well what a positive impact fair pay can have. By raising wages for home carers employed by our providers we’re going even further in helping to tackle inequality across the borough.”
Councillor Pat Callaghan, Cabinet Member for adult social care and health:
“By signing the charter we are making a tangible commitment to go even further in driving up homecare standards, improving outcomes for people who use these services and recognising the valuable role carers play in our local community.
“This will ultimately lead to further improvements in quality of care and reductions in staff turnover, absenteeism and sick leave – leading to greater continuity of care.”
Optalis – Wokingham
Optalis is the first local authority trading company (LATC) providing adult social care services to formally sign up to the charter.
Optalis has a workforce of around 350 employees and delivers a range of care and support services across Berkshire. Senior management at Optalis, in discussion with partner and owner Wokingham Borough Council, agreed to add the company to the list of organisations signing up to the Ethical Care Charter.
Managing Director at Optalis, Andrew Pickup:
“I am delighted that Optalis are taking this very bold step to assure ourselves and others that we expect only the highest standards in how we deliver quality care and support. We are a growing organisation and we can only achieve growth by attracting high calibre staff – the Ethical Care Charter goes right to the heart of our collective core values.
“I know this is absolutely the right thing to do, and I can only hope other organisations set a similar benchmark and see this as key to their long-term success.”
Alison McGovern MP, Member of Parliament for Wirral South:
“An integrated health and social care system has the potential, through better support in the community, to meet the challenges of an ageing population and the requirements of increasing number of people with long-term conditions by preventing people’s needs escalating.”
Independence Matters: An individual homecare provider in Norfolk
Sarah Stock, Managing Director of Independence Matters:
"Independence Matters are delighted and proud to be signing up to Stage 3 of Unison's Ethical Care Charter, we are passionate about our staff and delivering high quality care and as an organisation we are committed to providing good working terms and conditions for all employees. We are a Social Enterprise and therefore any surplus we make is put back into the organisation and can be used for the benefit of our staff in areas such as training and development which ultimately will benefit our customers and carers."
Councillor Keith Wakefield, Leader of Leeds City Council, said:
This May Day is a great opportunity to reflect on the vital contribution care workers make to our communities. We are determined to make sure Leeds City Council is rewarding homecare workers properly for the vital services they provide every day to thousands of Leeds citizens.
"Leeds is the biggest city to sign up to the charter and we are absolutely committed to people in Leeds receiving the high-quality homecare we would all want for ourselves and for our loved ones. That means we need to recognise everyone who receives homecare as an individual person, with their own particular needs.
Councillor Adam Ogilvie, Executive Member for Adult Social Care, said:
"This Charter gives a benchmark for the future of homecare in Leeds, and we are very proud to have signed up to it. Providing care can be one of the toughest roles to have, and if we don’t treat those delivering it decently, it makes it harder for them to do the job properly.”
Cormac, an individual homecare provider in the South West
Cormac operations director Simon Deacon said the company recognises that “it is our responsibility to create a positive working environment and good conditions of employment.
Julian Support, individual voluntary sector care provider
Pip Coker, Chief Executive of Julian Support said: “I welcome the opportunity to sign up to the UNISON Ethical Care Charter. Julian Support really only has one asset - our staff, and we expect an awful lot of them. They are dealing with some of the most vulnerable people in our society and we expect them to model the best ethical behaviours when working with people who need their support – if there is a mismatch between how we behave as employers and how we expect our staff to behave there is no integrity in the organisation or the services we provide"
Cheshire West & Chester Council
Councillor Paul Dolan, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health said: “The care that we deliver to residents in their own homes is one of the most important and personal services that the Council is responsible for. UNISON’s Ethical Care Charter shows how important staff conditions are for delivering high-quality care, and by signing-up we are showing a clear commitment to support and reward those who work with vulnerable residents.”
Milton Keynes Council
Cllr Pete Marland, Leader of the Council said, “Signing the Unison Ethical Care Charter is a huge step to improving the care our elderly or vulnerable people receive... We will pay the living wage, not use zero hours contracts and not use 15 minute care visits. It will give those that need care confidence in their services.”
Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council
Councillor David Walsh, the Cabinet Member for Adult Services at Redcar & Cleveland Council said: “We have worked in partnership with the care companies who carry out our home care work to ensure that they comply with best practice in terms of wages and working conditions, as well as performing a top class service for those elderly or vulnerable people who require care and attention to help their quality of life
Stewart Young, Leader of Cumbria County Council, said: “This is an issue close to my heart. Not only does this charter support our homecare workers by calling for decent wages, quality training and proper support. But it also clearly sets out proper standards for people receiving care at home ensuring that their personal care is always delivered with dignity and respect. The Council is delighted to be able to support and make such a worthwhile commitment.”
Councillor David Gardner said: "The borough's care workers strive tirelessly to provide the very best in home care support and I'm delighted that their deserved pay and benefits have been enshrined in this declaration."
Tower Hamlets Council
Mayor John Biggs said: "Home care services provide essential support to some of the borough’s most vulnerable people to help them live independently and safely in their own homes.
Sefton Council said; "We note with alarm the continuing crisis of social care underfunding that makes it hard for local authorities and provider organisations to ensure decent jobs and quality services. This Council supports in principle the provisions of UNISON’s Ethical Care Charter, for the commissioning of home care and residential care services. The Charter provide a minimum set of standards in the sector, which include requirements that care staff are paid at least the real living wage, on training provision, staffing levels and on improved scheduling of home care visits. The Council intends to implement the Charter at the earliest practicable opportunity. "
Cllr Alex Norris, who has responsibility for adult care and health, signed the Charter for the council and said; “It’s important that we make sure our homecare workers have the right training and working conditions to give the best care possible. A happy, stable workforce plays a huge part in this.”
Barking & Dagenham
Councillor Maureen Worby, the cabinet member for social care and health integration, said; “This follows on our policy of ensuring our lowest paid staff get paid above the London living wage, and we look to have this replicated in our homecare providers. Our most vulnerable people deserve quality care and we will do everything we can with the money we have available to make that a reality.”
Brighton & Hove
Leader of the Council, Warren Morgan, said; “We are protecting the vulnerable in the city, with a new ethical care charter, with millions more being spent on care for children, older people, people with disabilities and those tackling chronic health issues”
"We have signed the Ethical Care Charter to show our commitment to improving homecare services in Croydon."
Inverclyde Health & Social Care Partnership chair, councillor Joe McIlwee, said: “For many years we have been developing the homecare service in Inverclyde, putting user-need and quality of care at its centre. “I am delighted the council and the HSCP’s efforts have been recognised by UNISON and that we have formally signed up to commit ourselves to maintaining those standards.”
“We are delighted that North Ayrshire council is one of the first in Scotland to adopt the charter,” said UNISON branch secretary Louise McDaid at the signing. “It demonstrates our shared commitment to ensure improved quality of care for some of the most vulnerable people in North Ayrshire.”
Hammersmith & Fulham
Margaret Thomas, UNISON regional secretary, said; “Our most vulnerable members of society are being denied the care they need because of inadequate funding for social services in Wales. The volume of clients that Carers are asked to look after, means they are often forced to see people for just 15 minutes or less. Carers have long complained this denies their clients the dignity they deserve. Fragmented and under-resourced care leads to additional and unnecessary strains on the NHS. Carers typically earn the minimum wage and are often denied payment for travel time between clients and supplements for unsocial working. Ensuring dignity of care for patients plus fair and decent employment standards for care staff is at the heart of UNISON’s Ethical Care Charter. Its implementation in Swansea would be a step change in the provision of quality care in Wales and would benefit thousands of clients and carers and their families across the city. This would be the care standard all other Welsh councils would be measured against and Swansea’s Labour group deserve a great deal of credit for this commitment. We hope other councils will now work with UNISON to introduce our Charter.”
Southampton City Council
UNISON Southampton District Branch Secretary, Hayley Garner:
“The Labour Council’s commitment to UNISON’s Care Charters shows real intent to making the working lives better for care workers in both private and local authority care services. We will work tirelessly to ensure that the content of the charters is reflected in the working conditions of Southampton’s care workers.”
Cllr Warwick Payne, Cabinet member with the portfolio for Housing & Adult Care:
“The Labour Party was founded on the principle that a good day’s work deserves a good day’s pay and we’re still committed to those values.
“By signing the Unison charters, the Labour Party in Southampton is giving its clear commitment that care staff should have fair terms and conditions and we believe this will lead to improved care services for the elderly and vulnerable.
“Care workers have long been undervalued as a profession. We want to play our part in changing that by working in partnership with organisations such as UNISON to bring about a better deal for everyone involved.”
Councillor Sean Donnelly, cabinet member for Health and Social Care at Knowsley Council said:
"Home care and residential care staff provide a vital and valuable service to some of the most vulnerable residents in Knowsley and we want to ensure that they are recognised for the invaluable work that they do.
"Pledging our support to the Ethical Care Charter is the right thing to do for care workers and for those that they care for. Care workers are best placed to tell us exactly what support the people in their care need and we can improve the quality of our services by listening to them.”
UNISON North West Regional Convenor Paula Barker said:
“We are delighted that Knowsley Council have taken a huge step towards improving working conditions for care workers and in turn, improving the quality of life for the people they look after.
“Care staff should not be having to dash around between service users without the time to care. They should not be on poverty pay or having to work when they are ill. They should not be isolated and they should not be afraid to raise concerns about services with their employer. The ethical care charters address these issues by introducing vital minimum standards.
“UNISON North West are leading the way in highlighting the importance of care work and in fighting to win the pay and conditions they deserve. We will continue to work with local authorities across the region to pursue better standards in the sector through our Care Workers for Change Campaign.”