William Eichler 08 February 2022

London council first to publish new charter to protect care home staff

London council first to publish new charter to protect care home staff image
Image: Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

Southwark Council has agreed a new charter that will improve the working terms and conditions for all residential care providers in the borough.

The Residential Care Charter, which the council describes as the first such charter in the country, will guarantee that all care home staff will be paid at least the London Living Wage.

The charter also states that carers will be paid for the time it takes to carry out a proper handover between shifts and that training must be free and carried out in work time.

Zero hour contracts will also not be used in place of permanent contracts unless requested by staff.

‘We want safe, high quality and ethical care for all. Our new charter protects vulnerable residents living in care homes and the remarkable people who have worked tirelessly to keep them safe throughout the pandemic,’ said Cllr Evelyn Akoto, cabinet member for health and wellbeing.

‘While providing care is often a vocation, this does not mean staff should not be properly rewarded for the important work they do on behalf of us all. I believe that having a better paid, better skilled and well-motivated workforce in our care homes will help ensure residents receive the high quality care they deserve.

‘In Southwark, we have a proud history of being a frontrunner when it comes to driving up standards of care. Our Residential Care Charter is the first of its kind anywhere in the country and one I hope to see many more organisations follow.’

In 2013, Southwark was one of the first local councils to sign up to Unison’s Ethical Home Care Charter, which introduced a range of improvements for homecare workers’ pay and conditions. The trade union’s charter, as well as resident feedback, helped inform the council’s Residential Care Charter.

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