There were several emails yesterday to tell me about a new European court ruling about travelling time to work and all of them referred to the plight of Bexley’s domiciliary care workers who are paid neither for their travelling time between clients or the cost of that travelling.
It’s an obvious injustice and the problem is widespread as I discovered after getting involved with domiciliary care issues in Newham recently. Bexley is only unique because it was callous enough to brag that it pays its care agencies at an even lower rate than any other nearby borough. They are actually proud of it.
Like most laws emanating from Europe it appears to be ill thought out or maybe inadequately reported.
Nearly 50 years ago I worked just a stone’s throw from London Bridge station and one of my colleagues commuted by train daily from Weston Super Mare - and no Jubilee Line in the 1960s. Maybe trains were quicker back then but even so; should his travelling time ever have been considered to be part of his working day?
Travelling as a necessary part of the job after first reporting for duty must however be entirely different. What Bexley’s domiciliary care workers have to put up with is absolutely ridiculous and if council tax has to go up a bit to pay for it, so be it.