Home care providers must safeguard their workers’ rights as Britain prepares to leave EU, the CEO of Planday, the workforce collaboration platform, has said.
Speaking to Home Care Insight, Christian Brøndum said it is “unclear” how the UK government will handle emerging EU laws concerning workers’ rights after Brexit and so home care managers must “take responsibility into their own hands”.
His comments came despite Theresa May promising a new leave entitlement for carers and to set up a watchdog to ensure agency workers are not exploited by unethical employers.
The Trade Union Congress has already dismissed the proposals, made today, accusing Mrs May as “scrambling to save her Brexit deal” and trying to “portray herself as a champion of worker’s rights”.
And UNISON assistant general secretary Christina McAnea told Home Care Insight that the government’s “empty promises” and repeat announcement of a single watchdog “do nothing to tackle the growing crisis in social care”.
“These measures would fail to tackle illegal payments and precarious employment in one of the largest sectors in the UK economy,” she added.
Care England CEO Professor Martin Green agreed, adding that the initiative seems to be more about “the arithmetic of securing a Commons majority” than it does about protecting workers rights.
“The best way any Government can secure the rights of workers, is to build a strong world leading economy. If we suffer a recession after Brexit, this new body will be of little comfort to the people who will be unemployed,” he added.
Brøndum, who founded Planday, a Danish start-up which provides workforce collaboration software, said: “Many care workers in the care industry are shift-based, as it provides the flexibility required to manage multiple sites and a number of employees with different skills.
“However, the protection of care workers’ rights is currently uncertain with the changes set to come from Brexit, with many worrying about job security. It is becoming clear that employers won’t solely be able to rely on the government’s current proposals, so I believe it is time home care providers took control into their own hands to protect and communicate with their employees.”
He suggested that home care providers should use innovative technology to enforce workers’ rights.
“It is now more timely than ever for home care managers to utilise the foundations of technology to enforce workers’ rights and protection; technology which provides visible working time rules, holiday tracking, transparent shift scheduling and compliance warnings to safeguard the rights of workers,” he said.
“Offering a channel for transparent real-time communication reassures both the employee and employer by setting the terms of employment and providing stability and confidence for shift workers in an uncertain time.”