Article 173 out of 2186

Care Gig Concerns

28-Jun-17

Providing high-quality care to our clients is the top priority of the team here at Kemble at Home - and we ensure everyone is trained to be as caring, compassionate and efficient as they can.

It’s a two-way process - we expect dedication and commitment from our carers, and we look after them in return.

But not every care company out there shares our vision, and we feel it necessary to raise our concerns about what has become known as the ‘gig economy’.

This refers to companies who operate online. People in need of care can log on to a website and a carer, working on a freelance basis, is despatched to the client’s home.

There are issues for both the carer and the client within this system which we feel uncomfortable about.

The main problem is that these companies don’t have to conform to the same regulations governing employers, because they are not technically employing their carers. Furthermore, the appropriate safeguards regarding the carer who goes out into the client’s home may not be all they should be.

The whole thing is made worse by the fact that the firms are also not regulated by the Care Quality Commission - our industry watchdog.

We are not saying all these firms are being cavalier with the care of their clients, but no doubt some are more professional than others.

Safeguards in the care industry are extremely important and while many of these firms claim to have substantial vetting policies and high levels of training, with the performance of carers reviewed regularly, we don’t think that’s really good enough.

The ‘gig economy’ allows people to tout their trade and make themselves available for work on a freelance basis. But from the carer’s standpoint they have none of the benefits of an employed person.

Let’s take a look at how working for a reputable firm like Kemble at Home compares to “gigging” as a freelance carer.

Kemble at Home vs Freelance

- We find the work for the carer whilst a freelance carer has no guarantee of regular work. - We take care of all the legal and administrative side of things - contracts, wages, invoices etc. As a self-employed carer, it’s down to you to chase payment and detail your own contracts. - You have a back-up of working for a company regulated by the CQC, and the emotional support and protection that goes with that. - We provide holiday pay and sickness pay as well as provide training and pay carers to attend it. Training is unlikely to be included in paid time for a freelance carer and they might even have to pay for it themselves. - We pay for DBS certificates, while freelance carers are responsible for acquiring their own. - We pay for carers’ mileage and provide an employee benefits package. - Kemble’s carers get about 30% higher pay than the average national standard - a minimum of £8.70 an hour. A freelancer’s net pay is likely to be much lower than that - especially when you consider the lack of mileage and other expenses.

The message is a clear one, put your trust in a tried and tested company which prides itself on its level of care and training, has the best interests of the client at heart and one that is regulated by the appropriate body.

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