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BFAWU Conference 2024 Urgent action is needed to support adult social care staff, say food workers

URGENT action is needed to support “underpaid, undervalued and overworked” staff in England’s adult social care sector, food workers said today.

BFAWU delegates gathered in Staffordshire for their annual conference unanimously backed a motion calling for zero-hours contracts tFo be banned and for home care workers to be paid for time spent travelling between clients.

The motion, which also included a demand for a food and fuel allowance regularly adjusted for inflation, received enthusiastic support at Yarnfield Park conference centre in Stone.

Delegate Amanda Bailey said: “Care workers are not paid enough for their hard work.

“Using their personal car and phone to work is not considered when they get paid.

“The mileage given is far less than what petrol costs to drive from house to house and the time given to travel is also not enough.

“This state of affairs is not good enough.”

BFAWU research suggests that, despite Britain’s care industry being worth £55.7 billion, most of the sector’s mostly female workers are on zero-hours contracts or the minimum wage and three-quarters are not paid at all for travel time. 

Executive council member Michael Blundred backed the motion and demanded action to address the “shocking” situation.

“You’ve got people who are being underpaid, undervalued and overworked — it’s terrible,” he stressed. 

“The sector’s turnover rate is 28 per cent. That’s how many people they’re losing because of the [terms and conditions] that they’re working under.

“There are 152,000 vacant care worker posts. It’s just not good enough. We need to give these people some support.”

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