Direct Payments ? Another Potential Time Bomb : Sleepovers

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
Not at all.

Charities are charities. Businesses are businesses.

There should be a clear distinction between the two , both in the general public's mind and legislation to that effect.

Running a business and running a charity are two separate disciplines / mindsets. One cannot mix and match to achieve a balance as a " Balance " does not exist.

By all means have a business with a charity wing , or vice versa , but there must be a clear distinction between the two , especially in management , legal entity and objectives.

The very last thing a " Charity " wants is for their business enterprise to fall foul of whatever and land up in a Court of Law as the defendants ?

Or donations used to prop up their business enterprise through incompetence , and not have a clear mandate from the beneficiaries to do so ?

A minefield in today's fragmented system.
That's not the point.

The point is whether they are effective in helping people.

That does require money and funding and recruitment of good staff
I stand by the segregation of charities and businesses.

To employ people to assist the beneficiaries needs business acumen to balance the cost / reward if only from a business angle. I would also suggest that such powers may have to be read " Between the lines " in the founding document of many.

In which case , such activity should be hived off into a separate entitly not of a registered charity one.

Using volunteers is one thing , using paid workers in another. Not many smaller charities have the in house expertise to deal with employment law.

Whether all UK charities can safely comply with all aspects of the Statement of Recommended Practices 2015 ( Charity Commission ) would be " Interesting " to determine.

Whatever ... the line between charities and business has never been so indistinct.
Look at the Lifeboats RNLI or Guide Dogs, surely you would agree that they are successful and effective organisations?
Yes .... but in the context of the thread , problem with sleepovers , immaterial to the basic argument.

Both chariities mentioned have a clear mandate to do what they do , and so do the general public.

As far as I'm aware , both are NOT acting as businesses. If there are any shortfalls , and donations are needed , the average donator knows exactly how his / her monies will be utilised.

The problem in this instance has been charities trying to provide a service and , failing foul of the employment laws. They were trying to provide a business service when employing staff to undertake the specific task.

Charities run by unpaid volunteers , using volunteers as their workforce , do not have this problem.
It is likely that there will be negotions between UNISON and employers to try to reach a ettlement, may take years.
Please do not WRONGLY blame me cap when the fault may lie with HMRC. :-???
Very interesting article from Polly Toynbee in today's Guardian :

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... ers-tories


At this time of year, journalists need to keep a sharp eye out for government statements sneaked out after parliament has gone home. But I have rarely seen anything as sneaky as this.

Employers can't foot £400m care worker back pay bill. Government must act - fast

At a quarter past midnight on Wednesday morning, the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy put out a press release easily missed in the next day’s traffic. Anyone seeing its headline would have thought it was good news: “Government announces additional support for care providers.” Goodness knows they need it: at least one care home a week is going out of business, along with home care companies, who can’t provide acceptable care on the pittance the government pays them.

How much is this new “support”? There’s not a penny from the state. All the money is to come from the pockets of care workers, the lowest-paid minimum wage earners. “Government announces measures to temporarily suspend minimum wage enforcement activity for social care sleep-in shift pay,” said the press release.

Following three tribunal cases, in April the government issued a new guidance to care providers to pay minimum-wage hourly rates when carers are called in to sleep over in a care home or in the homes of disabled people who need 24-hour care. Previously, the guidance was to pay a £25 flat rate a night; the new guidance said they should get £60 a night. The tribunal also ruled that six years’ back pay was due to all the care workers who had been short-changed. That is about £400m.

That caused panic in the sector, including among the 200 charities providing care to 178,000 people. They protested that they couldn’t even get a meeting with ministers to warn of the impending disaster of bankruptcies and closures. Derek Lewis, chairman of trustees at Mencap, said: “High politics, Brexit or the parliamentary recess must not be allowed to get in the way. The future of some of the most vulnerable in our society needs to be protected.”

Finally, they got their meeting and this is the panic solution: just ignore the tribunal findings and carry on underpaying care workers. Minimum wage enforcers have been called off. The GMB union, representing many care workers, is consulting lawyers. Can the government legally just set aside a judgment, with no parliamentary vote? This really is taking Henry VIII powers.

Making the already lowest paid take the strain on social care is the lowest of low politics. The department calls it a “temporary” measure, to be reviewed in October, but with no guarantee the money will be forthcoming afterwards.

This is the latest twist in the social care crisis. Theresa May rightly made solving it a high priority in her “worst manifesto in history” in May, but since her inept solution blew up, the whole politically toxic issue may have been dumped in the “too difficult” tray; a review is promised but there have been countless reviews over the years. Everyone knows the problem. The NHS begs for proper funding for social care to alleviate its blocked beds.

Recently I spoke to care workers in the West Midlands, who described the hardship of trying to provide good enough care when staff are constantly cut back to cut costs. They said four staff for 22 residents is standard, but often it becomes three or two to care for 38 or 40 incapacitated, demented people. One care worker told me: “Residents can turn violent. If they get urinary infections it can make them suddenly deranged, lashing out.” No wonder there is a huge turnover in care staff, and a desperate shortage of nursing home nurses.

Gavin Davies, a former care worker and now a GMB officer, says sleeping in at night means not sleeping much: people with dementia often don’t know night from day. “With severely learning-disabled people, something happens at night nine times out of 10. A lot have epilepsy, and there are a lot of accidents.” Those at the sharpest end of the hardest work, caring for the out-of-sight most disabled people, are the ones now paying for the lack of funds for social care. They are £400m out of pocket: will they ever be paid it?

The charities who have led the campaign are distressed that the reprieve they have won has come at the expense of care workers they depend on. Mencap’s Derek Lewis says: “We all recognise that our social care colleagues do some outstanding work and are some of the lowest paid, but we cannot pay them if we do not have the money and we only receive money from government sources.” Yet again, the government’s austerity bites those with least.

Oh dear ......
I think that the Daily Mail took a different angle at this related story about the UNISON action on legal aid for Employment Tribunals.

As you may imagine the Mail took an extreme right wing attitude with a headline about the Gravy Train
The Daily Chuckle can always be relied apon to express a view not dissimilar to those back in colonial days and the British Empire whilst sipping pimms under a hot sun ?

Said colonialists would applaud today's Sad New World so long as their capital and privileges were being protected , and unannounced visitors still used the tradesperson entrance ?