William Eichler 13 June 2017

Welsh government tackles zero-hours contracts

Welsh government tackles zero-hours contracts

The Welsh government yesterday revealed plans to curb zero-hours contracts and protect care time in the social care sector.

The plans will offer workers in the domiciliary care sector the choice to move from zero-hours to minimum hours contracts after three months of continued employment if there is ongoing demand for work.

‘While some staff prefer zero-hours contracts, valuing the flexibility they can offer, for many the uncertainty and insecurity they pose can have a hugely detrimental impact on their lives,’ said social services minister, Rebecca Evans.

‘Crucially the plans we are putting out to consultation today will ensure employees have a choice.’

The new measures, which have been put out for consultation until 7 August, will also tackle ‘call-clipping’, the practice of scheduling care appointments close together and not allowing for enough travel time.

Under the new proposals, providers of domiciliary care will be required to differentiate clearly between travel time and care time when preparing employees’ schedules.

They will also have to give due regard to issues such as the distance between visits and rush hour traffic.

‘The proposals I have unveiled today are not only intended to offer staff a fairer deal, but also to safeguard the quality of care and support people receive in their own homes,’ said Ms Evans.

‘Research shows a link between the prevalence 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.’

‘I encourage anybody with a view on these important issues to contribute to our consultation,’ she added.

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