March this year I was able to speak to several of Bexley’s
domiciliary care workers and was shocked to hear the conditions under which they
are forced to work. Minimum pay, no pay at all for the travelling time between
jobs and pay their own expenses for travelling to Bexley’s sick and needy clients. I had heard
councillor Chris Taylor, Bexley’s cabinet member for Adult Services bragging at too many
meetings that Bexley paid its contractors less than any other nearby borough and the plight
of the people at the sharp end was no concern of his.
Since then the issue has escalated quite nicely through Parliament and this afternoon the Greater London Assembly.
A motion by LibDem Assembly Member Stephen Knight proposed…
A full day’s work deserves a full day’s pay, and it’s totally unacceptable that some care workers are not being paid for travelling between appointments, effectively reducing them to a life below the national minimum wage. The Mayor must speak out about the low pay endemic in the care system. Councils across London - and across the political spectrum - could and should do more to tackle this blatant and cynical exploitation.
The motion was carried 13:6. Will this prove to be more guidance that Bexley council chooses to ignore?
The GLA debate may be viewed on line. See London Assembly (Plenary), Wed 24 July. About 2 hours and 15 minutes into the video.