Labour calls for protection for care workers

Labour councillors on Suffolk County Council today called on the Conservative administration to change their procurement processes to ensure that any company who forces employees to waive their rights under the Working Time Regulations will not be given county council contracts.

The motion will be proposed by Labour Group Leader Cllr Sandy Martin and seconded by Cllr Sarah Adams. Cllr Martin will show that people working indirectly for the County Council delivering home care support are being forced to opt out of the protections offered by the regulations.

Cllr Martin said; “The fact that people indirectly employed by the council are being forced to opt out of the regulations just to make ends meet is a disgrace. This means not only are these workers being put under unnecessary stress, but those who are receiving home care cannot be sure that a care worker turning up to help them will not be on the edge of exhaustion. We as a county council have a moral obligation to only contract with companies that look after and respect their workers.”

He added; “Other counties such as Wiltshire are able to commission companies to deliver home care in a more supportive way than Suffolk County Council. The Working Time Directive is an important part of delivering excellent care and we will be pushing this administration to recognise that and act.”

The full text of the motion reads:

This Council supports the rights of workers to be protected under the obligations of the Working Time Regulations which ensure they are not forced to work on average more than 48 hours a week.
To that end, this Council resolves to amend its procurement procedures to specify that contracts will rule out the use by any organisation of employees who have been effectively coerced to waive their rights under the regulations.

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