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Social Services: Pay

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN HL498, tabled on 16 January 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Henley on 11 April 2019 (HL15230), how many agencies employing careworkers are paying the costs of such workers for their travel between clients; and what steps they take to ensure that care agencies pay staff appropriate renumeration for any time spent travelling between appointments.

Answered on

27 January 2020

The law is clear that for care workers, and other workers, time spent travelling between assignments counts as time worked for National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage (NMW) purposes. Furthermore, the Government issued statutory guidance supporting the implementation of the Care Act which specifies; “Remuneration must be at least sufficient to comply with the NMW legislation for hourly pay or equivalent salary. This will include appropriate remuneration for any time spent travelling between appointments.”

The Government has more than doubled the NMW compliance and enforcement budget to £27.4 million for 2019/20, up from £13.2 million in 2015/16. HMRC utilise those resources to follow up on every worker complaint received and to undertake proactive investigations. Last year (2018/19), HMRC identified over £6 million in minimum wage arrears within the Human Health and Social Work sector, owed to over 27,000 workers. This includes, but is not limited to, arrears relating to travel time.

Workers can call the ACAS helpline for free, confidential advice about their rights and entitlements. If they want to make a complaint through HMRC, they can do so in complete confidence, either via ACAS or using the online complaints form on GOV.UK. HMRC will protect their anonymity throughout the investigation.