How we won the battle for care workers who were fined £10 for missing visits


NEW Labour MP Angela Rayner has won her first victory - on behalf of zero hours care workers who were fined for missing visits to pensioners. 

Angela worked with Tameside Council Labour Leader Cllr Kieran Quinn to pressurise the company, MHL Healthcare, to back down and scrap the £10 fines.

Now the company have written to all their care staff telling them that they will no longer face a fine if they miss an appointment, without 24 hours notice.

Angela said:"This is a great victory for the staff - the company have agreed to stop fining them for missing appointments.

"It's a huge step forward and I am extremely grateful to Kieran Quinn for working with me to persuade the company to cease this Victorian practise. 

"It shows what can be achieved by Labour working together on behalf of working people."

The scandal was highlighted by the Manchester Evening News and Angela took to the airwaves on BBC Radio Manchester to demand that the company stop fining staff.

Cllr Quinn summoned company representatives to Ashton Town Hall to demand an explanation.

Angela said:"We made it crystal clear that this practise was simply not acceptable in the 21st century. As Kieran pointed out, it was something even a Victorian mill-owner would have been ashamed of.

"The company were fining staff if they missed appointments with pensioners, without first giving 24 hours notice. That meant workers were being penalised for having an unexpected sickness, a family crisis, or even the car not being able to start!

"It was appalling. Kieran and I were determined to do everything in our power to stop it. And our pressure has now paid off."

The company provides home care services for more than 700 pensioners on behalf of Tameside, Stockport and Manchester city council.

Angela added:" I'm delighted that our campaign in Tameside has also benefitted staff in Stockport and Manchester too.

"I think the pensioners themselves will be happier knowing that their carers are getting better treatment.

"With wages so low in this industry, a £10 fine was a significant loss of income. They were being fined £50 for missing training sessions too.

"Now I gather the company are going to review the terms and conditions of staff, including the use of zero hours contracts.

"If we are to provide reliable, quality care for our older people, we need to value the staff who provide it and treat them properly."




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