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Care For Carers - Carers UK Forum

Care For Carers

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.

I have started a campaign on causes.com to get carers pay increased to National Minimum Wage. Please join my campaign. I will not be silenced. The campaign doesn't end until this basic demand is met.

http://www.causes.com/causes/623648-car ... =140217914

Hi folks,

I've had 36 views and noone's joined my cause. Image

If you don't join the cause the you have no right to complain about Carer's Allowance being so low. 1 person will be ignored. But if we all join together we can make a difference.

Hi folks,

I'd like to apologise for my previous post. It's up to each individual if they want to join my campaign. And even if you don't you do still have the right to complain about Carers Allowance being so low.

I am just over-eager to try to get some support to my campaign and I have no previous experience of organising such a campaign.

Anyway, I thought I'd give you an update on what I have been doing thus far apart from trying to collect members. I emailed my local MP, Danny Alexander, but have not yet received a reply. I suspect I know what sort of reply I will get as he is currently Treasury Minister so I doubt he will back me up. I also emailed the Highland Community Care Forum and they advised me to contact John Thurso, MP for Caithness. He had previously contacted the HCCF regarding carers rights and they felt he may be a good contact for me. His office emailed me back to say they will give me a call on Thursday. I will let you know how that conversation goes.

I also emailed the low pay commission. They advised me to telephone the Pay and Work Rights department at HMRC. I phoned them and the first person I spoke to said legislation was unclear and they would get someone from the Special Enquiries Department to call me back. They called me yesterday and advised that NMW doesn't apply because I'm not Employed (?!?). They advised that I have to take it up with DWP. I therefore emailed Iain Duncan Smith to ask his views but have not yet received a reply.

I will update you in the next few days on any replies I receive.

I have also been asking if anyone has ever actually challenged the DWP in court regarding Carers having workers rights. So far all the answers I've been given are that nobody is aware of any previous case. I'd be grateful if anyone could advise if they are aware of any previous case.

I would be grateful if people would join my campaign. I started it on Sunday morning and so far I only have 15 members. I would feel more confident in my discussions/emails if I knew I had some support.

The address is http://www.causes.com/causes/623648-car ... =140217914


As Carers Allowance is taxable, then surely the Government are employing us?
I haven't had a look yet, will do so shortly.
It is only classed as pay if you have a contract with an employer. This would also give the government as your paymaster the right (indeed the responsibility under equal ops rules) to demand that the post is advertised competitively, you apply for the job in writing with a cv and good references, you hold NVQ care or nursing qualifications and an advanced disclosure, and the best person is appointed on merit. Your workplace will be subject to regular safety checks and inspections, unannounced, and comply with strict environmental standards: so you can put that fag out, throw away the bottle of plonk, buy a fire extinguisher or three, hold fire drills and give the cat to a good home. Image
Still interested? Image
So, as it stands CA is just a welfare benefit and the government can see fit to set it at any rate they wish Image
Hi Scally,

Some interesting points you raise there.

I'd just like to say in response that we live in a 1 bedroom house therefore it's not feasible that someone else could be a live-in carer for my partner as there's no space.

I'd also like to ask, someone else raised the point about NVQ's on another forum... Would it be so bad if carers had to take NVQ's if in return they got NMW? I'm not stating an opinion, just asking for other people's opinions.

With regards to the workplace safety checks, can I ask... does a person with a home helper (for example) have to go through such stringent checks? Again I am asking an honest question because I don't know the answer.


Our home was assessed for H & S risks to the care workers by our current agency but not all of the agencies we have used have carried out these risk assessments. Where we used to live Crossroads carried out one which was to my mind excessive and intrusive, in the end I did not use them because when I needed a sitting service I was told I had to go through the whole procedure again due to it being so long since the last one had been carried out, less than a year Image .

As for NVQs, that presupposes that we have time to do them, I do not, and I think many of us probably already have the appropriate skills for our individual situations, it is not that unusual to find family carers training the paid carers who come to our homes, I have done it on many occasions.
What sort of NVQ or would some of us have to take a whole set of them?
In my case I would need physiotherapy, manual handling, personal care, dietry needs etc. etc. etc.
And with regards to workplace safety we would fail as there is only me to do everything.

I don't wish to be negative but NMW could open up a whole new can of worms.
Hi folks,

I met with Danny Alexander today to discuss Carers Allowance and the possibility of it being increased to NMW rates. My main points where that Carers Allowance is currently less than Job Seekers Allowance which seems silly considering Job Seekers don't have to do anything to earn the money while Carers have to be caring for a minimum of 35 hours per week to earn Carers Allowance. I also raised the point that Benefits are paid to people due to circumstances whereas Carers Allowance has to be earned therefore should be subject to NMW. I also pointed out restrictions which carers have i.e. Full Time students don't get Carers Allowance and that if a carer is working they are allowed to earn a maximum of £100 per week or they lose Carers Allowance. His point of view was that Carers Allowance isn't supposed to be a wage and Carers don't care for loved ones to earn money. I pointed out to him that this means that the Government is basically exploiting people's good nature. I also pointed out to him how much money carers save the NHS per year and only a small proportion of this would be needed to increase Carers Allowance to NMW. He advised he would take my points on board and get back to me. I await his response with interest.

In the meantime I am still recruiting people to my cause. I feel we would be in a stronger position with more supporters.

The address is http://www.causes.com/causes/623648-car ... =140217914

Or goto www.causes.com and search Care For Carers and it's at the bottom of the page.


Good work, and believe me, I support you in principle: carers deserve a much better deal. But I won't sign the campaign, because I don't want to be a government employee with all the strings attached. Nor do I wish to be an employee of my caree, that would be absurd, I'm his dad! Image