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Hi there, I'm new to the forum and hoping you might be able to give me some advice over whether there is anything I can actually do about the situation I now find myself in. There are 2 main issues I've had with work.

 

I'm a domiciliary care worker who has had to use my own car to get from one client to the next. I began working with my employers last September, at the time my job had been advertised as £8.25/hour but I was not told in the interview that this amount included rolled-up holiday pay and that my actual hourly rate was closer to £7.35.

 

I accepted the job believing my hourly rate was actually higher than it was, handed in my notice with my previous employers, underwent mandatory training and went out on a round with the supervisor to ensure I was competent before they gave me my contract to sign.

 

It states in the contract that the rate includes your holiday pay, which I am expected to keep aside for when I wished to take my leave. Admittedly I didn't read the contract in full before signing because I'm evidently stupid, and never having heard of rolled-up holiday pay it had never occurred to me that the rate they told me I was being paid could actually include my holiday allowance as well.

 

It was quite a kick in the teeth finding out - I'd accepted the job on the basis of thinking I would be earning more than I had been with another company, my partner and I had a lot of debts and I was reliant on that hourly rate to be able to pay all of my bills and debts each month.

 

I couldn't afford to set my holiday pay aside so had to go without holidays throughout my time with them except for when I needed time off to move and was becoming ill and stressed out enough to force myself to have time off, I think I had about 6 days holiday in the whole year.

 

I was also pregnant whilst working with them, and from 23weeks developed a medical condition that left me in constant pain whenever I was walking or standing, yet I still couldn't afford to take time off and had to keep working right up until I was 39weeks. My work pattern with them was initially 12 days in a row, some days from 0700 to 1700, but having become pregnant whilst with them I was made to switch to working 6 days in a row with every Sunday off (same thing essentially I know).

 

I know there were 2 occasions where they were short staffed enough that I ended up working 13 days in a row - which I later discovered is illegal.

My payslips are quite poorly written. They don't discern between my hourly rate and holiday pay, in fact each month they put me down as having worked 1 hour at the rate of whatever I earned that month - it would be nice if my hourly rate was really £1300 (usual monthly amount) but actually it's not.

 

I know they've messed up via the payslip as they should clearly document what my holiday rate was each month. I'm also paid slightly different amounts depending upon whether the call was a 15min, 30min, 45min or hour duration - the payslip never documents how many 15min, 10mins etc. visits I've been paid for, so it's quite difficult to work out whether I've even been paid correctly.

 

 

So that is issue one. I didn't make a fuss at the time about my issues with pregnancy or raise any grievance over being deceived about my hourly rate as I knew it would mean getting another job, which could mean several weeks of not getting paid whilst waiting for my CRB to come through - I just tried to get on with things and keep plugging away at my debts, hoping there'd be light at the end of the tunnel at some point.

 

Issue 2. Whilst in the interview I was also told that I wouldn't be paid fuel allowance for my car as they said I could reclaim it from the HMRC at the end of the year - and they pointed out they paid a higher hourly rate than other care agencies in the area anyway (which actually they don't, given that their hourly rate includes holiday pay).

 

It was another condition on which I'd accepted the job, only to find out later I'd been deceived. I was told the fuel allowance rate was 45p/mile and was led to believe I could claim this back at the end of the tax year - it turns out I could only get tax relief for 20% of it.

 

They didn't point this out and it's not made clear on the HMRC website either. I'd been counting on the tax rebate to clear off some of my debts and now I can't - the amount I got back doesn't even cover 1. I'm on maternity leave and have to work out how I'm going to cover everything when my monthly income has so drastically been reduced.

 

I know that my position is pretty bad. I have no written evidence to confirm what they said in the interview, since I was avoiding taking holiday I can't take them to a tribunal over holiday not being paid.

 

I just want the money I was expecting for the money I had to spend on petrol just to do the job, I feel so robbed. I don't have much hope but is there anything I can actually do? Please be gentle - I know this is partly my fault for being stupid and taking people at their word.

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The only thing I can say is, that my expenses are paid by my company, allowance for car etc. But no tax is taken off them, but I think you declare them if you are self employed because you get allowed for them in your tax code. Someone on here will help you.

 

Don't worry, I am daft about things as well.

 

Take a grievance, I am, and I am glad I did.

LilythePink

If you liked what I said, and if it helped in any way, please tip my scales..... thank you:)

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It seems fairly clear to me that you didn't read anything before signing (your responisbility) and therefore have little recourse. It would also be down to you to check the position with the taxman on fuel reimbursement.

 

I would read this link about rolled up holiday pay. This should not be happening unless you are actually self employed. Which does not mean that your hourly rate should be higher - you may actually be worse off by insisting on proper holidays.

 

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/Employees/Timeoffandholidays/DG_10034711

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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Surely there must be some rules for these employers to abide by, and the tax office wouldn't take too kindly to them telling you that they would reimburse you with the cost of your fuel.....they just adjust your tax code, they don't pay you.

 

Go to the CAB, or as someone else said ACAS. Are you in a union?

LilythePink

If you liked what I said, and if it helped in any way, please tip my scales..... thank you:)

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the trouble is, as all this was verbal, the employer camnjust say "no, we didn't say that." OP is going to struggle with no proof.

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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Thankyou for the responses. I've gone to CAB - awaiting a response - and will try ACAS as well, if I get anything positive from them I'll let you know.. I didn't think I would have much recourse anyway, I know I have no evidence. I think one of the worst things is that I had actually really liked this employer, they seemed to genuinely care about the clients and I could trust them to follow up any concerns I'd had over client welfare - I've worked for a few different care agencies and sadly this is a really rare quality, so I'd really appreciated this about them. Turns out they just don't care about their staff and I'll be having to look for another job when I finish maternity.

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when you say you didn't make a fuss - you have at least had a conversation? reliable care staff are like hen's teeth. there may be a compromise to be had.

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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I let my care co-ordinator know I was in constant pain when it first started and that I would keep them informed over whether I was finding anything difficult, and didn't mention it much after that, I just got on with things. Really I wouldn't be surprised if he forgotten completely about it, I probably should have made more of a point of it. I know I was probably the most reliable care worker they had, I worked more than almost everyone else, never called in sick, helped them out whenever I could, and am one of the few as far as I know to have quite a few clients write in specifically to commend me. The manager made it clear they'd hope to see me back. I'm not sure about a compromise though, they have a very high turnover of staff specifically due to the cost of petrol and the owner still refuses to pay an allowance for it. I also must have spent about £2000 in petrol and if I stayed with them would be continuing to pay my own travel costs - this time knowing I'd be receiving barely a fraction of it back, I don't think any compromise they'd have to offer me would be worth staying.

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I'd at least ask. You don;t have a lot to lose. I'd take advice on the rolled up pay before you do it as they really aren't meant to do that any more either!

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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I wouldn't let them away with that amount spent on petrol. There must be some regulatory body over there, that inspects these places, and that is a joke telling you that you can claim it back from the tax office. Why should the tax payer be paying for his workers to go about their work. I would sue him, in small claims court, I don't think it costs anything. Get free legal advice?.... I can't believe that he is trying that on.

LilythePink

If you liked what I said, and if it helped in any way, please tip my scales..... thank you:)

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My wife works in the home care business and this all sounds very familar! She went through the process of resigning from one employer after an interview with another who then declared that the advertised rate of pay included holidays. Fuel is also a massive issue for the reasons you have outlined.

 

The problem with rolled up holiday pay is that whilst it has been declared to be unlawful in most circumstances, in the UK the employer can stay on the right side of things (only because there hasn't been adequate case law to say otherwise) providing that the rolled up pay is clearly specified on the payslip, is written into the contract and is a transparent arrangement. In cases where this isn't clearly specified, the remedy for an employee is to take action through a Tribunal for failure to pay holiday pay, and the ET may agree that the contract (and payslip) are not sufficiently clear so will award the holiday pay over and above that which has already been paid as a proportion of wages. Basically the employee says the arrangement was never made clear, and if an ET agrees, they may be awarded the holiday pay that should have been due for holiday taken as the amount already paid cannot be clearly identified as 'Holiday' pay.

 

The fuel arrangements for care work are a major issue - HMRC specifies that for up to 10,000 miles of business use for one's own car, you can calculate your business mileage multiplied by 45p and the total amount of expense incurred then becomes tax deductable at your normal rate of tax - so, as you say, you actually receive 20%. The other point is that the maximum allowance that can be given is the amount that you pay in tax each year. For part time workers (such as Mrs SW), where she does not work enough hours to pay more than around £300 in income tax, that is the maximum relief that can be given. She therefore spends around £2000 a year on fuel but HMRC can only give relief up to the £300 paid in tax! As already mentioned, this isn't given by way of a cheque, but an adjustment to the tax code, so basically my wife now pays no tax, as here expenses are greater than the amount that would be deducted...

 

I wouldn't let them away with that amount spent on petrol. There must be some regulatory body over there, that inspects these places, and that is a joke telling you that you can claim it back from the tax office. Why should the tax payer be paying for his workers to go about their work. I would sue him, in small claims court, I don't think it costs anything. Get free legal advice?.... I can't believe that he is trying that on

[/Quote]

 

No real case to take action on, sadly. The OP understood (or would have done with investigation) the situation and has accepted it by working under those terms. Additionally, the majority of home care work is under contract from Social Services, and under the last government, where fuel used to be paid as an allowance per job, the government removed that as part of the tendering process for companies bidding to take on Social Services work. Some companies pay fuel up front but they are few and far between. Caring government and Big Society for you - and removes some of the financial burden from the NHS!

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