Fines for care homes that ignore employment laws

Employment Law Services Partner Paul MaynardAn HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) investigation into the private care home sector has found an alarming number of employers were paying their staff below the national minimum wage. Of the 183 care homes investigated, 48 per cent were paying their staff below the national minimum wage. HMRC called it ‘the highest level of non-compliance identified in this sector in the last five years’.

Reasons for the underpayment included not paying for training and travel between jobs, deductions for uniforms and living accommodation, paying the wrong hourly rate or incorrectly using apprentice rates.

The care providers concerned have been fined a total of £112,786 for ignoring employment laws, while another 80 firms remain under investigation.

Gaby Hardwicke Employment Law Services Partner Paul Maynard commented: “Our experience is that some care providers have not yet got to grips with the complexities of the minimum wage and working time requirements. This is particularly so where domiciliary carers are not paid for travelling between appointments and where carers are required to sleep on premises overnight. This is not just an issue for the private sector, as we have experience of local authorities falling foul of the Regulations too. As always, there is no substitute for specialist professional advice.”

Gaby Hardwicke has a specialist team of solicitors with expert knowledge and experience of working with businesses in the healthcare sector, including care homes, doctors' practices and dental practices. Find out more on our healthcare business page.

For expert advice on all healthcare sector employment law matters contact Paul Maynard.

Posted: 03 December 2013

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