Hartlepool signs up to UNISON’s ethical care charter

Hartlepool Borough Council has become the latest local authority to sign up to UNISON’s ethical care charter. Council leaders joined UNISON Northern regional secretary Clare Williams to formally sign the charter on Friday.

This means the Council has committed itself to working with the town’s care companies to help them replace zero-hours contracts with guaranteed hours and to reflect travel time between home care visits in care workers’ pay.

Councillors have also pledged to work with care providers to help them move towards paying the living wage (currently £8.45 an hour) to all their employees. The ethical care charter also commits councils to moving away from 15-minute care visits and to help ensure that those needing care see the same care workers regularly, benefitting both the staff and the people they care for.

UNISON Northern regional secretary Clare Williams said: “Ensuring fair employment conditions across the care sector is essential if they are to improve the quality of life of the people they look after.

“UNISON’s ethical care charter highlights the key role care workers play in society, by fighting to secure the pay and working conditions they deserve.”

Leader of the council, Christopher Akers-Belcher said: “The signing of this charter demonstrates the Council’s commitment to its workforce and the value placed on their working conditions. They truly are the cornerstone of our success and I am very proud of the rich mix of talent & expertise our staff possess.

UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “This move will not only reward carers fairly for their work, it will also improve their working conditions and ultimately benefit the people they look after.

“By signing up to the charter, Hartlepool is joining a growing group of councils leading the way for better social care across the country.”