Elderly people are not receiving the care they need because private home carers are “exploited” by their employers and given inadequate training, according to a trade union.
Staff were effectively paid below the minimum wage due to “zero hours” contracts, which have huge swings in paid hours, and the fact many employers will not pay for travel time between visits, said Unison.
It said homecare workers need better training and working conditions, and claimed many workers were not shown how to administer medicines or given other basic training.
The union, which is holding its national conference in Bournemouth this week, said some employers made their staff pay for their transport, uniforms and mobile phones.
General secretary Dave Prentis said: “It is a scandal that private homecare companies are boosting profits for themselves, but short-changing elderly people and staff.
“They are cutting corners by scrimping and saving on what they pay their staff. This has a huge knock on effect on elderly people relying on care to live independent lives in their own homes.”