Marc Gander - The Consumer Survival Handbook


A 220 page introduction to all things consumer related by our own BankFodder.

Includes energy companies, mobile phone providers, retailers, banks, insurance companies,debt collection agencies, reclaim companies, secondhand car sellers, cowboy garages, cowboy builders and all the rest who put their own profits before you.

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Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

£19.99 + £1.50 (P&P)


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  1. #1
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    Default Care Worker - staff no longer getting £3K payment enhancements for certain shifts

    I'm posting for a friend so here's the details. I hope some light can be shed on this.

    She's worked in the same residential care setting for over 25 years.

    It was announced that the staff will no longer be getting enhancements for certain shifts that qualified them for this extra money.

    In her case this is a loss of over £3000 a year.

    Can they do this with no negotiation at all?

    Thanks for your help.


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    Default Re: Care Worker - staff no longer getting £3K payment enhancements for certain shifts

    The question is a tad vague.

    Size of employer
    Number of staff affected
    Details of allowance
    How long has it been in place
    Anything replacing it
    Union?

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Care Worker - staff no longer getting £3K payment enhancements for certain shifts

    Sorry for the late reply but i have been caught up in my own work stuff today.

    staff employed 40

    staff affected 34

    allowance is 1/3 of hourly rate paid weekends and for part of late shifts. This allowance is being left in place for night staff, which seems totally unfair.

    extra pay has been in place for over 15 years

    the staff have been told they will be moved up to the next pay grade but this rise does not cover what is being lost by a long way. One member of staff is going to be £2000 out of pocket, even with the pay grade rise.

    union are involved and are attending a consultation meeting.


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    Default Re: Care Worker - staff no longer getting £3K payment enhancements for certain shifts

    So if the union are involved, it isn't without negotiation; and there is a grading/cash incentive for the change, so it's not without recompense.

    Not quite the original position. I think your question might actually be "how can they avoid a cut in take home pay", and the answer may be "they can't." Night shift is harder to get people to do and has a more severe impact n health, so I can see why that one woud be left in place.

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    Default Re: Care Worker - staff no longer getting £3K payment enhancements for certain shifts

    Where I live the hourly rate for care staff pay has increased massively over the last 2 years due to the demand/supply imbalance. your company ought to be made aware of recruitment and retention problems if they go down this route. Your union will be in a position to produce official figures to support this argument.
    The real problem is that the employer may well know this but use the changes to shed staff and then be forced to hire new people later. They wont know the background though so will be more pliant to sudden changes


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Care Worker - staff no longer getting £3K payment enhancements for certain shifts

    A "consultation meeting" has now taken place.

    All care day staff will go up one pay grade (bottom of) and get 2.5% also. This is worth less than £450. Full-time day care staff will lose around £2500 per year.

    A union rep was present but asked no questions.

    This all starts in April.

    Non-care staff and night staff are keeping their extra payments.

    This is divisive.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Care Worker - staff no longer getting £3K payment enhancements for certain shifts

    It is not going to happen but if everyone wrote at the beginning of march they were resigning at the end of march because they didnt accept the new conditions then they would have to not implement them or spend a month trying to advertise, interview and recruit new staff.
    Was union rep a lay rep employed at the place of work or a local officer?


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Care Worker - staff no longer getting £3K payment enhancements for certain shifts

    Rep was a workplace rep (he has his own full-time job).


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    Quote Originally Posted by ericsbrother View Post
    It is not going to happen but if everyone wrote at the beginning of march they were resigning at the end of march because they didnt accept the new conditions then they would have to not implement them or spend a month trying to advertise, interview and recruit new staff.
    Was union rep a lay rep employed at the place of work or a local officer?
    They could do that.
    But they won't.

    Because people don't generally stand together.
    Some will just accept it.
    Some will leave before the end of March - as soon as they find a better paying job, if there is one.

    What the employer is doing is lawful.
    Even if the allowance - and it's an allowance, not wages - is contractual, which the often aren't, it would be relatively easy to change and enforce.

    They have given a substantial period of notice,
    they have mediated the loss - maybe not as much as people might like,
    but that's another matter and not subject to law
    - and people can find other employment if the change isn't acceptable.

    It hasn't been explained why the change is being instituted,
    but I'm sure the employer will have a business case too. I

    t isn't difficult to see what that would be either.
    Care budget are being slashed.
    Some care providers have gone under already because they cannot offer the required care at the price on offer.
    Others have withdrawn from the state system and will only take self funders.

    That doesn't make it "right", whatever that means
    - but what it does mean is that it will be cuts or it will be redundancies when the provider closes the facility.
    If the staff have a better idea, this is their chance to put it.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Care Worker - staff no longer getting £3K payment enhancements for certain shifts

    The employer is not a private business or a charity.

    This is a money saving exercise being branded as "getting fit for purpose" in case the service was asked "why don't we privatise"?

    I like your idea about all staff resigning in March.


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    It wasn't my idea. It will never work!

    It doesn't matter whether it is a private business, a charity, or statutory sector (very few of those around any more). Austerity measures hit the whole of the care sector/public sector, and you can't spin money out of thin air.

    But since this is clearly public sector then, let's consider what would happen if it were commissioned out.

    The generous pension provision goes straight out of the window.
    As does the higher than statutory redundancyicon payments.
    Wage rates will be dropped to the bare minimum.
    And they won't get five months notice of this.

    Don't bother thinking TUPE either.
    If TUPE applies, the new employer will cite business reasons immediately for all this and more.

    No it's not fair.
    No it isn't right that care provision in this country is being cut to the bone and beyond.
    No, it isn't fair that people who are vulnerable and in need are treated as commodities.

    Is it the employers fault? No, it's the government's.
    And who elected that government - often because they think that they shouldn't have to pay all these taxes too support the poor, weak and vulnerable?

    If you want good care services which respect and value the employees as well as the clients,
    then the fight back doesn't start in the workplace,
    who have no control over these things.

    In my region,
    councils have protected social care budgets at the expense of huge cuts in other essential services.

    Now there is nothing else left to cut and yet the social care budget required grows year on year.

    Most are now setting budgets that they KNOW they will exceed, by £ millions.
    What do you suggest they do?

    As I said, do you or they have a better idea?


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Care Worker - staff no longer getting £3K payment enhancements for certain shifts

    Quote Originally Posted by Sangie595 View Post
    It wasn't my idea. It will never work!

    It doesn't matter whether it is a private business, a charity, or statutory sector (very few of those around any more). Austerity measures hit the whole of the care sector/public sector, and you can't spin money out of thin air.

    But since this is clearly public sector then, let's consider what would happen if it were commissioned out.

    The generous pension provision goes straight out of the window.
    As does the higher than statutory redundancyicon payments.
    Wage rates will be dropped to the bare minimum.
    And they won't get five months notice of this.

    Don't bother thinking TUPE either.
    If TUPE applies, the new employer will cite business reasons immediately for all this and more.

    No it's not fair.
    No it isn't right that care provision in this country is being cut to the bone and beyond.
    No, it isn't fair that people who are vulnerable and in need are treated as commodities.

    Is it the employers fault? No, it's the government's.
    And who elected that government - often because they think that they shouldn't have to pay all these taxes too support the poor, weak and vulnerable?

    If you want good care services which respect and value the employees as well as the clients,
    then the fight back doesn't start in the workplace,
    who have no control over these things.

    In my region,
    councils have protected social care budgets at the expense of huge cuts in other essential services.

    Now there is nothing else left to cut and yet the social care budget required grows year on year.

    Most are now setting budgets that they KNOW they will exceed, by £ millions.
    What do you suggest they do?

    As I said, do you or they have a better idea?
    If it were commissioned out i don't think there would be any profit as the money coming in would barely cover staff wages (even if on minimum wage) and the cost of upkeep etc.

    I had this conversation with a senior council procurement committee member a couple of years ago. He said that elderly care and young people is where the money is (this place is not for the elderly or young).

    It has also been disclosed that the supervisors are in for a 4k pay rise too! This also seems wrong.

    The fact that some people will get extra payments at weekends and some not smacks against all ideas of fairness.

    I think this is just a cost cutting exercise designed to make the lowest paid even less well paid.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Care Worker - staff no longer getting £3K payment enhancements for certain shifts

    Unfortunately, what you think is irrelevant; and what you consider fair is also not relevant. The reality is that it is exceptionally unlikely that the supervisors are getting a pay rise for any reason other than the inability of the council to recruit and retain people at that level without paying this amount. Whereas, in the current situation, care staff are ten a penny. There are always people willing to do the work. The world isn't fair, and it won't get more so any time soon. And you would be amazed at how the private sector can extract profit. But the bottom line is that if you are correct, and the service can't be commissioned, it is a service - not a statutory duty. And all services can be ended. If you think the alternative would lead to better pay?

    So we come back to the point, what is your, or their, alternative? And what are you going to do about it? Yes, they are all entitled to resign en masse. They can go elsewhere and find better paid jobs. They can take industrial action. You could start a campaign. Stand for election. This is an "either put up or shut up" situation. If something is "wrong", then do something about it.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Care Worker - staff no longer getting £3K payment enhancements for certain shifts

    Quote Originally Posted by Sangie595 View Post
    It wasn't my idea. It will never work!

    It doesn't matter whether it is a private business, a charity, or statutory sector (very few of those around any more). Austerity measures hit the whole of the care sector/public sector, and you can't spin money out of thin air.

    But since this is clearly public sector then, let's consider what would happen if it were commissioned out.

    The generous pension provision goes straight out of the window.
    As does the higher than statutory redundancyicon payments.
    Wage rates will be dropped to the bare minimum.
    And they won't get five months notice of this.

    Don't bother thinking TUPE either.
    If TUPE applies, the new employer will cite business reasons immediately for all this and more.

    No it's not fair.
    No it isn't right that care provision in this country is being cut to the bone and beyond.
    No, it isn't fair that people who are vulnerable and in need are treated as commodities.

    Is it the employers fault? No, it's the government's.
    And who elected that government - often because they think that they shouldn't have to pay all these taxes too support the poor, weak and vulnerable?

    If you want good care services which respect and value the employees as well as the clients,
    then the fight back doesn't start in the workplace,

    who have no control over these things.

    In my region,
    councils have protected social care budgets at the expense of huge cuts in other essential services.

    Now there is nothing else left to cut and yet the social care budget required grows year on year.

    Most are now setting budgets that they KNOW they will exceed, by £ millions.
    What do you suggest they do?

    As I said, do you or they have a better idea?

    I do not like what sangie says, but after 25+ years working in the public sector, I know that what they say is correct.


    In my view, the biggest issue is the potential loss of public sector pension rights if this service is outsourced.


    I've seen this in the NHS where the worst paid jobs were "market tested" or put out to tender. The workers affected were not better off, but presumably(?) taxpayers were.


    In your friend's case there will be a loss in the short term, but that might be more acceptable than a bigger long term loss (and even that may not be wholly unavoidable).


    As the population grows older (plus stopping smoking and drinking - Ha!) society has no answer as to how to fund the ever increasing health and social care costs. It would appear the electorate (for the moment at least) does not want to pay more taxes - at least at the ballot box.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Care Worker - staff no longer getting £3K payment enhancements for certain shifts

    Quote Originally Posted by caring guy View Post
    If it were commissioned out i don't think there would be any profit as the money coming in would barely cover staff wages (even if on minimum wage) and the cost of upkeep etc.

    I had this conversation with a senior council procurement committee member a couple of years ago. He said that elderly care and young people is where the money is (this place is not for the elderly or young).

    It has also been disclosed that the supervisors are in for a 4k pay rise too! This also seems wrong.

    The fact that some people will get extra payments at weekends and some not smacks against all ideas of fairness.

    I think this is just a cost cutting exercise designed to make the lowest paid even less well paid.

    Do you know this? It might be true as I know of NHS trusts where executive Directors have received large increases even though the organisations cannot recruit enough staff, but it sounds unlikely.


    Is it true or is it simply a rumour?


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Care Worker - staff no longer getting £3K payment enhancements for certain shifts

    the tendering process is bent because the govt wanted it to be when privatisation first kicked off and actually become worse under new labour. There have never ben any savings made by privatisation, that all died when the minimum wage was introduced. The price of meals in hospitals doubled when the NML came in because the contractors suddenly couldnt rely on slave labour to keep to their agreements.
    However, paying someone a payment for unsociable hours is not unfair, consider supply and demand. You should see how much locum doctors get paid per hour (typically£200) but even that isnt enough to get many of them to give up their time becasue they can earn more doing private consultancy ( £1200ph in Harley St, £400+ elsewhere)
    The supply/demand curve crossover points no longer apply to wages as they do for physical commodities. that you can blame on certain economic theorists back in the Reagan years who were allowed to wreck the economies of every country in the world and still havent been called to account.


  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericsbrother View Post

    You should see how much locum doctors get paid per hour (typically£200) but even that isnt enough to get many of them to give up their time becasue they can earn more doing private consultancy ( £1200ph in Harley St, £400+ elsewhere)
    How come £200/hour is “typical”, when the highest rate seen
    http://careers.bmj.com/careers/advice/Locum_pay_since_the_cap
    was £187.50, and the speciality with the highest average (so, the one in greatest demand) had an average rate (for consultants) of £104.18 / hour.

    So the average hourly rate for consultants across all specialities is going to be less than that : so your “typical” rate is:
    a) about double the average, and
    b) higher than the maximum rate seen.

    Even so, yes the rates are high.
    Locums don’t get sick pay, study leave, pension or annual leave, and have no job security, so the rates aren’t that surprising.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Manxman in exile View Post
    I do not like what sangie says, but after 25+ years working in the public sector, I know that what they say is correct.


    In my view, the biggest issue is the potential loss of public sector pension rights if this service is outsourced.


    I've seen this in the NHS where the worst paid jobs were "market tested" or put out to tender. The workers affected were not better off, but presumably(?) taxpayers were.


    In your friend's case there will be a loss in the short term, but that might be more acceptable than a bigger long term loss (and even that may not be wholly unavoidable).


    As the population grows older (plus stopping smoking and drinking - Ha!) society has no answer as to how to fund the ever increasing health and social care costs. It would appear the electorate (for the moment at least) does not want to pay more taxes - at least at the ballot box.
    I don't like it either! Unfortunately, the world refuses to operate as I think it should.


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Care Worker - staff no longer getting £3K payment enhancements for certain shifts

    Sorry Bazza, I didnt bother trawling the internet to find some figures just to prove a point, I merely took examples from the doctors surgery and clinic where my wife works and some of the rates my son-in-law charges as a max/fax surgeon. Daughter says he undercharges compared to other private clinics, Shall tell him to increase or reduce his rates? The real point was to show that paying even what most peopel would consider a large sum is not enough to get people to work as a locum in the NHS because it is a fraction of what they can get privately. One could go into how in other countires peopel who are trained as doctors and dentists cant go into the private sector until they have repaud their training cost by working for the state in some capacity. Studnets in France have to do national service as paert of their study time rather than at 18 like the majority of folk, same in Greece where you do it in a set time after you graduate.
    Quote Originally Posted by BazzaS View Post
    How come £200/hour is “typical”, when the highest rate seen
    http://careers.bmj.com/careers/advic..._since_the_cap
    was £187.50, and the speciality with the highest average (so, the one in greatest demand) had an average rate (for consultants) of £104.18 / hour.

    So the average hourly rate for consultants across all specialities is going to be less than that : so your “typical” rate is:
    a) about double the average, and
    b) higher than the maximum rate seen.

    Even so, yes the rates are high.
    Locums don’t get sick pay, study leave, pension or annual leave, and have no job security, so the rates aren’t that surprising.



  20. #20
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    Default Re: Care Worker - staff no longer getting £3K payment enhancements for certain shifts

    Quote Originally Posted by ericsbrother View Post
    Sorry Bazza, I didnt bother trawling the internet to find some figures just to prove a point, I merely took examples from the doctors surgery and clinic where my wife works and some of the rates my son-in-law charges as a max/fax surgeon. Daughter says he undercharges compared to other private clinics, Shall tell him to increase or reduce his rates?
    Ohh, when you said "locum rates", you meant "private clinic charges". I wouldn't recommend you start advising him on his charges, if you can't tell the difference between them.
    You can't compare apples and pears.

    The majority of locum consultant work is in NHS hospitals and GP surgeries, where the rates are capped, as private clinics (seeing patients privately, rather than NHS sessions) don't usually need locums (their consultants are 'regulars', with 'privileges' to practice there granted by the clinic).

    There is also a difference between what the locum gets paid, and what the employer gets charged, if the locum works through an agency, so the rate your wife might see isn't necessarily the rate the locum gets.



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