Two workers looking at notes

Unpaid Travel Time Crucial Topic for IQ:timecard and Home Care Companies

As new figures obtained by the Unison union suggest that many home care workers are not being paid the minimum wage due to unpaid travel time, IQ:timecard is reaching out to home care providers to offer a solution to payroll issues. The time and attendance solution provider is encouraging more home care organisations to be aware of the rules regarding minimum wage levels, as the government promise to name and shame businesses that don’t comply with the relevant legislation.

Figures acquired as a result of a Freedom of Information request found that just 6% of local authorities ensure it’s a contractual condition that care providers must pay workers for their travel time. It’s calculated that around 30% of an average shift for a home care employee is spent travelling between client locations – if this time is unpaid, it has a significant effect on their take-home earnings.

The BBC has reported this week that one carer, who was supposed to be earning £7 per hour – well above the £6.50 threshold – had to leave her position as a home carer because the amount she was earning was not covering the two hours she spent travelling between clients’ homes. The woman’s case has been taken to Unison along with 17 other instances of underpayment that have dramatically affected workers’ lives and careers.

IQ:timecard have a solution in the form of their workforce monitoring system, which flags up when employees are being underpaid through its innovative reporting system. Employers are being encouraged to take up this form of integrated payroll solution to ensure their staff are being paid in compliance with the minimum rates set by the government.

David Lynes, Director of IQ:timecard, says, “Implementing a time and attendance solution which can be integrated with payroll is a great way to see whether employees are being paid less than the minimum wage – so that businesses can rectify it immediately. IQ:timecard is easy to install in any home care business, whether they’re a private provider or whether they have government or council contracts in place. The solution not only helps with ensuring the right wage payments, but also helps to stamp out time theft and closely monitor employees to ensure they’re only being paid for the hours that they work – which should rightly include travel time.”

The new statistics are worrying for the care sector, especially after a report by the National Audit Office earlier this year found that as many as 220,000 carers were not being paid the minimum wage. With the home care industry always struggling to attract new staff, and with budgets being stretched to the limit, it’s crucial for businesses to choose a solution like IQ:timecard, which will help them to save time, money and ensure a greater level of compliance across the board.