Lambeth signs up to Ethical Care Charter for homecare workers

18 March 2024

Written by: Lambeth Council

News and announcements

Lambeth Council signs up to the Ethical Care Charter guaranteeing that homecare workers are paid for travel, sick pay and receive regular training.

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Lambeth signs up to Ethical Care Charter for homecare workers

Cllr Claire Holland, Leader of Lambeth Council, was joined by the Council’s Cabinet Members for Healthier Communities, Cllr Jim Dickson and Cllr Marcia Cameron, as well as Christina McAnea, the General Secretary of UNISON, as Cllr Holland signed the Charter. Local care workers, UNISON members and council staff were also present to mark this  important step in the Council’s ongoing mission to provide excellent care to residents.

Cllr Holland told the group “It is fantastic to be signing up to the Ethical Care Charter, alongside UNISON colleagues and some of our brilliant, hardworking carers. So much work has gone into making this possible and I thank everyone involved.

“Our carers work incredibly hard for our residents, and they deserve to be paid properly for the time they put in. The measures in this Charter will also allow care workers to provide the best possible service to clients, who are at the heart of every decision we make.

“Here in Lambeth we are always listening to care receivers and their families and thinking about how we can improve services. The Ethical Care Charter is a key part of that process.”

A charter for the safety, quality, and dignity of care

The over-riding objective behind the Charter is to establish a minimum baseline for the safety, quality and dignity of homecare for people by making sure that carers are given employment conditions which:

  • do not routinely short-change clients; and
  • ensure the recruitment and retention of a more stable workforce through more sustainable pay, conditions and training levels.

Among other things, the Charter guarantees that all Lambeth providers will pay homecare workers for their travel time and travel expenses, cover them with an occupational sick pay scheme, and provide regular training. The aim is to use these standards as a benchmark against which to level, instead of achieve savings by driving down carers’ pay and conditions.

Word from the Cabinet

Cllrs Dickson and Cameron, the Cabinet Members for Healthier Communities, said “These are such challenging times in local government, and Lambeth is no exception. But providing an excellent standard of care to residents who need it is a priority for us, and it always will be. We have been working on this for a long time and we’re grateful for UNISON’s support. We only make these kinds of commitments once we know we can deliver on them.

“One of the crucial parts of this charter is that is ensures that care workers are paid  the London Living Wage for their travel to appointments rather than just the appointments themselves.”

Word from Unison

Christina McAnea said “This is a big deal for us, this is something that is part of the strategy we’ve been pushing for years. Thank you to Lambeth, because the more Councils sign up, the more we can achieve.”

More information

The Ethical Care Charter, the steps in implementing it, and a list of the local authorities who have already signed up to the Charter can be found here.