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Tower Hamlets Council signs up to Ethical Care Charter


  • Better services for home care clients
  • Better conditions for home care workers

Tower Hamlets Council has today (10th June) promised to deliver improved homecare for residents and more support for the borough’s home care workers.

Mayor John Biggs has signed the UNISON Ethical Care Charter at a ceremony at the Town Hall with Dave Prentis, General Secretary of UNISON.

The charter sets out minimum standards for care at home, for the people who receive it and the workers who provide it.

The charter states that visits should 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.

It adds that people should have the chance to get to know their homecare worker and wherever possible, should keep the same one.

The charter also calls for better conditions for homecare workers themselves, including a living wage, a realistic allowance for travel time and regular, good quality training.

Mayor  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.

“I am delighted to be able to sign the Charter and that we will implement it when our new home care contracts take effect this November.

“At Tower Hamlets, we want to make sure that people across the borough receive the sort of high quality homecare that we would all want for our loved ones – and for ourselves.

“Along with that, we need to make sure that our homecare workers who carry out this important work are treated with dignity, properly rewarded – and trained – for the vital services that they provide every day to hundreds of Tower Hamlets residents.  “The Ethical Care Charter sets the benchmark for the future of homecare in and we are very proud to have signed up to it.”

The council is currently changing the way it organises homecare.  As part of new contracts, the council is setting the rates it pays for homecare services on the basis that providers will:

  • Offer every careworker a permanent contract of employment of at least 12 hours per week as an alternative to zero hours contracts;
  • pay at least the London Living Wage, currently £9.40 per hour;
  • pay careworkers, at London Living Wage, for all time spent travelling between care visits and when attending team meetings, training and supervision; and
  • provide an occupational sick pay scheme in addition to the Statutory Sick Pay requirements