Coun­cil to pay back £200k after un­der­pay­ing staff

Macclesfield Express - - EAST CHESHIRE HOSPICE - KAREN BRIT­TON

CAR­ERS who have been un­der­paid for their work are set to get £200,000 back in a pay­out by the coun­cil.

Cheshire East Coun­cil has an­nounced it will back­date pay to care staff fol­low­ing a le­gal rul­ing on the Na­tional Min­i­mum Wage which shows it’s been un­der­pay­ing care work­ers.

The rul­ing ap­plies to rates of pay for work­ers who are re­quired to work ‘sleep-in shifts’, where they are on duty at night.

If the care staff are on overnight shifts in care homes or in in­di­vid­u­als’ homes they may have been able to sleep through the night, but have to be avail­able to be wo­ken and pro­vide care as nec­es­sary.

The rul­ing found that sleep-in care staff should be paid na­tional min­i­mum wage for each hour on duty, even if asleep.

It means that the coun­cil has been un­der­pay­ing its care work­ers so the author­ity has had to pay work­ers what they are due - a to­tal of £200,000 for 116 staff mem­bers.

The ma­jor­ity work for the coun­cil’s so­cial care team Care4Ce which has staff who op­er­ate res­i­den­tial homes and in in­di­vid­u­als’ homes in Mac­cles­field and across the bor­ough.

Coun Paul Find­low, cab­i­net mem­ber for cor­po­rate pol­icy and le­gal ser­vices said: “We have un­der­taken an ex­ten­sive re­view to es­tab­lish ex­actly who this rul­ing af­fects and how much each in­di­vid­ual is owed.

“Cheshire East Coun­cil is a re­spon­si­ble em­ployer.

“We re­spect and value all our em­ploy­ees and want to en­sure that they are paid fairly for the valu­able work they do.”

The land­mark em­ploy­ment tri­bunal rul­ing in May this year ruled that the char­ity Men­cap and oth­ers had un­der­paid its staff by giv­ing them a fla­trate overnight sleep-in al­lowance, rather than pay­ing at or above the na­tional min­i­mum wage for each of those hours, even if asleep.

This rul­ing is cur­rently sub­ject to ap­peal, but Cheshire East states it’s com­ply­ing with the law as it stands now.

It ap­plies to em­ploy­ers in­clud­ing char­i­ties, nurs- ing home op­er­a­tors and coun­cils across the coun­try.

All af­fected staff will re­ceive a let­ter con­firm­ing the pay­ments due and how it was cal­cu­lated as well as re­ceiv­ing their ar­rears of pay go­ing back two years in their Oc­to­ber salaries.

Cheshire East has looked back at what its paid care work­ers over the last two years to work out the pay­out due to be given to staff.

Coun Paul Find­low, Cor­po­rate Pol­icy and Le­gal Ser­vices Port­fo­lio Holder at Cheshire East

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