Friday, 16 August 2013

Care workers on zero-hours contracts

It's interesting to learn from the current, and fully justified, campaign against the use of zero-hours contracts that thousands of care workers are on zero-hours contracts.

Could there, I wonder, possibly be any connection between this fact and the often-expressed view that the service provided by organisations that provide care for profit is not always acceptable?

(The many readers of this blog who aren't UK-based may not be aware of this controversy.   It is becoming clear that hundreds of thousands of people 'employed' in the UK, some of them by very well-known companies, are on 'zero-hours contracts'.  This means that they are not guaranteed any work and do not have the same employment rights as other workers.  Yet some of the companies actually forbid them to take any other employment while they are 'contracted'.)


  1. As a care worker I am on zero hours contract and rarely know what I am doing until the day before my week starts. I have occasionally had as little as 12 hours work to as much as 70. There is also a randomness to what evenings I am working so find it difficult to make any solid plans to socialise. I only have one full day off every two weeks. But I love my job and I think that is what a lot of care companies rely on

    1. The other thing that people are not aware of on a zero hour contract is that if I stop working for more than half an hour the clock stops and I don't get paid until I next log in. For example I rushed round today so that I could do a lady's housework call, only to find that she had cancelled two days ago and no-one from the office had told me. I lost about an hour and a half waiting to start my lunch calls. We also only get 10 pence a mile for fuel. The sad reality is that I would be better off working in a supermarket stacking shelves, but as I say I enjoy what I do. If you want a smile at some of my stories visit my blog.

    2. Thanks for these contributions Ian.

      I'm sure readers would, like me, be interested in your blog. Could you post the address (as a comment)?

    3. I couldn't work out how to get you straight to the blog as a whole so sent link to one of my individual stories and you should be able to find your way to other stories from there. thanks for the opportunity for a plug. I have already promoted your blogs from time to time