Crackdown on zero hours contracts for domiciliary care workers

April has brought about some changes for employers in Wales in relation to domiciliary workers.

Perhaps the most significant change is that providers are now required to provide domiciliary care workers a choice of contract following a three month period of employment.

Social care minister, Huw Irranca-Davies, commented ‘There is a very clear link between the use of zero-hours contracts and a reduced quality of care, due to issues around the continuity of care and communication between workers and those they support. These measures will ensure workers are offered a choice of contractual arrangements’.

This came into force on 2nd April 2018.

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Time allocation

Providers are also required to differentiate between travel time and care time when they are preparing their domiciliary workers’ schedules. This aims to ensure that care time is not reduced due to travelling between visits. This also came into effect on 2nd April 2018.

Register of Social Care Workers

As of 16th April, the Register of Social Care Workers is open to domiciliary care workers. All domiciliary care workers will be required by law to register by April 2020. Once it becomes a compulsory requirement, domiciliary care workers will need to register within six months of commencing employment.

The responsibility of registering falls on the worker, but the employer needs to support them. Employers must also be able to ensure that workers are fit for purpose and have the knowledge, skills or qualifications required.

The Social care minister said ‘The registration of domiciliary care workers will provide the public with confidence that care workers have the appropriate skills and qualifications to do their jobs in a professional, compassionate manner’.

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