The signing of this is on Thursday morning. I'm delighted that Reading is going to stand up and be counted on this.
The other thing that I'm really pleased about is that we aren't just signing a piece of paper but it reflects a changed way that the council will commission services. That means it will have real teeth – good providers will gain market share while providers that don't want to offer this sort of employment and quality service simply won't get the council's business.
Reading Borough Council Signs up to the Ethical Care Charter
Reading Borough Council Press Release
READING Borough Council is leading the way in the provision of quality homecare by being the first local authority in the South East outside of London to sign up to the UNISON Ethical Care Charter.
The Charter sets minimum standards to protect the dignity and quality of life for people who need homecare. It commits councils to buying homecare only from providers who give workers enough time, training and a living wage, so they can provide better quality care for thousands of service users who rely on it.
By signing up to the Charter, and by becoming an Ethical Care Council, Reading Borough Council pledges to commission care only from providers who will:
• Schedule visits so that homecare workers are not forced to rush their time with clients or leave their clients early to get to the next one on time
• Match the time allocated to visits to the particular needs of the client
• Allocate clients the same homecare worker(s) wherever possible
• Use contracts which are appropriate for individual homecare workers
• Pay the Living Wage
• Pay homecare workers for expenses such as their travel time and travel costs
The Council commits to working closely with individuals and providers to ensure that the assessed needs of individuals are more outcomes focused and to monitor service quality and compliance with the Charter.
Reading Lead Member for Adult Social Care, Councillor Rachel Eden said:
“Ensuring dignity, quality and choice for older and disabled people using home care is only possible if their carers are also being treated fairly. This charter marks the commitment from Reading Borough Council to work with UNISON and care providers so that homecare contributes to a fulfilling life for residents who need it and provides a decent living for carers.”
Heather Wakefield, UNISON National Secretary for Local Government, said:
“UNISON welcomes this very positive step by Reading Council. Making this commitment to decent employment conditions for care workers is all about improving the quality of life for the people they care for. A living wage and more secure employment make it possible for dedicated care workers to stay in the job and focus on giving the best possible care”
The signing of the Ethical Care Charter comes after the Council pledged – at the ‘Tackling Poverty’ conference in November – to work where possible with contractors and other employers to achieve the “Reading Living Wage”.
The Council is working with the Living Wage Foundation to review all contracts as part of the drive towards Living Wage accreditation. Signing up to the Ethical Care Charter is an important step to implementing the Living Wage in a significant contract area.
Notes for Editors:
PHOTOCALL: Councillor Rachel Eden, Reading’s Lead Member for Adult Social Care, will be signing the UNISON Ethical Care Charter on behalf of Reading Borough Council on 27th March, 10.00am in the Kennet Room of the Civic Centre. She will be joined by a UNISON representative, and Reading homecare providers and users. The event is being supported by Reading Age UK.
For more information on the UNISON Ethical Care Charter, please contact
Ruth Smith, Regional Organiser 07939143262
Reading Borough Council Press Releases can be found online at http://www.reading.gov.uk/news/pressreleases/
Media Contact: Anna Fowler
Tel: 0118 937 3957