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A friend of mine is a carer but she may be handing in her notice today but this is one (of many) areas I have little to no experience in so any help would be gratefully accepted.

 

This lady is on £7.35 per hour. She only gets paid for the time she spends at the clients home, no travel time is paid.

She has to be at her first client around 6:00 who lives 15 minutes away and during the day she has times where she is not needed so has 2-3 hours off each day however she also does the night run, getting her clients into bed. She doesn't normally get home until 10:30-11:00 and then up again at 05:00 to start this all over again. Surely there must be some breach of law there.

 

Her wage slips do not show how many hours she has worked, just a unit rate. The same applies to her mileage allowance.

 

For her mileage allowance, nothing is paid for the first 25 miles and then 12 per mile. She does on average 50 miles a day and tends to work 6 days a week.

 

I already have her permission to act on her behalf so when she does hand in her notice, I will be sending a SAR to the head office of the company she works for. Hopefully they will specify how many miles they have paid for and any other allowances (if any)

 

Is there any way of calculating hours based on mileage? This is a rural area so not much traffic. She has not opted out of the working time regs even though she does more than 48 hours per week. she is on a zero hours contract so she feels that she has to do the work or lose money from losing hours if she objects.


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https://www.gov.uk/rest-breaks-work/overview

 

This says she's entitled to 11 hours rest between working days. I don't know if it's a breach of law if she chose to work these hours.

 

Thanks for that. She doesn't want to do these hours but the company imply that as she is on zero hours, if she doesn't do this, they will give her shifts to others. A form of blackmail if you want.

 

The affect on her physical and mental health is noticeable, even to me who has no idea of what it's like to do her job


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It sounds like the employers using zero hour contracts, can use blackmail as a way to get staff to opt out of basic worker's rights. It all smells a bit to me.

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Is it their own car? 12p is ridiculously low, to the extent HMRC suggest a bicycle is 20p per mile!

 

A car will cost about 17p on fuel especially on short country runs, add on other costs such as service, tyres etc and that is why you should be getting around 45p for every mile. Any less and you can claim tax allowance on the difference.

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Just doing a quick bit of maths

 

300 miles / week, but only getting paid for 150 mile @ £0.12/mile = £18

 

Fuel ~ £1.10/l = £5/ gallon

 

So they get 3.6 G for £18

 

To do 300 miles in 3.6G they need to get 84MPG and that is not going to happen, so they are losing money. Even if they get 40MPG it's costing them £20 per week, which I guarantee the employer will be back charging

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My friend has only recently become aware she can claim some tax back for her mileage. I checked the tax mans website and it seems they allow around 45p per mile so it is possible she could claim some tax back and if so, she would get back in excess of 17k for the time she has worked there.

 

She uses her own car and has to have business cover which the company don't pay for and he has to have personal liability insurance as well which she pays for.

 

What's even more silly is that the uniform she wears, she had to buy but the company will expect her to hand it in when she leaves.


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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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My friend has only recently become aware she can claim some tax back for her mileage. I checked the tax mans website and it seems they allow around 45p per mile so it is possible she could claim some tax back and if so, she would get back in excess of 17k for the time she has worked there.

 

She uses her own car and has to have business cover which the company don't pay for and he has to have personal liability insurance as well which she pays for.

 

What's even more silly is that the uniform she wears, she had to buy but the company will expect her to hand it in when she leaves.

 

HMRC rate is indeed 45p/mile, but that can only be offset against tax, so the maximum that would be reimbursed by HMRC would be the income tax paid in a given year. The claim would be via a P87 for previous tax years and then register for Self Assessment for the current year onwards. HMRC will adjust the tax code going forwards in recognition of the expenses incurred. She can also offset a fixed amount of £100 for laundry of her work uniform and if she had to buy special unifoirm then this is reclaimable too.

 

Your friend's story is exactly the reason why Mrs Sidewinder switched from being a home care worker to working in a residential home. Zero hours and feeling obliged to accept any work offered, but only getting paid for the job time with nothing for the travel between clients. She was doing around 150 miles a week and not receiving any contribution from the employer, but as she was only working part time her income was insufficient to pay tax - especially after HMRC changed her tax code to allow for the expenses, so she was paying insufficient tax (basically nil) to recover the expenses any further.

 

Travel time was at that time not included as 'working time' but the law is different now. Your friend must be paid at least the NMW for all time from getting to the first call to ending the last providing that the time between calls is not classed as a 'break' and is spent travelling between assignments.

 

The issue of the WTD and rest breaks is a little more cloudy as the law says that the employee must be free to take breaks (ie the employer cannot force the employee to not take adequate rest) and with a ZHC the employee is absolutely free to accept only those jobs which would allow the correct periods of rest in the working day, so it would be through choice that your friend is not taking, for example, the required 11 hours uninterrupted rest between shifts

 

Interesting that insuring her own car for Business use costs more - I have always found it to be pretty much no different.


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Interesting that insuring her own car for Business use costs more - I have always found it to be pretty much no different.

 

I haven't checked out how much extra she pays but when I go on to an insurance website, there are more choices on coverage than a few years back'

 

There is;

Social and domestic

Social, domestic and travel to and from work

As above but also for business use as her car is used a lot during the day (and night) there is more risk of a collision therefore a loaded premium is asked for.

 

Having to purchase her own public liability insurance is silly. She should be covered by her employers but of course, they are after the money, not look after staff. Not one of their carers has anything but a zero hours contract

 

If she were to refuse the night runs, the company will penalise her by not giving her more suitable shifts and giving less hours and she cannot afford to lose hours so she is stuck between the usual rock and hard place. It IS blackmail in all but name.

 

Zero hour contracts should used where employees need that option, not for unscrupulous employers to beat them around the head with it.


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does she pay tax on the travel allowance? If so then they are including it in her pay and not paying it separately. She can claim 40p/mile and should do via her tax return. This nothing for the first 25 miles really menas that she isnt paid a fuel or travel allowance, if she went by bus do they think that the first 3 bus rides are free? Travel allowance should cover fuel and running costs like repairs, insurance etc so 25p-40p is normal.

If it were me I would be asking for a payment to cover the actual costs of supplying her employer with transport OR if she has been taxed on the pitiful allowance claim for the travel time as they are not paying her expenses. Typical of these companies but councils are as much to blame because of how they contract out their responsibilities.

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While I understand they may penalise her hours, she needs to consider / calculate how much she is actually getting for the hours she actually works minus ALL her expenses.

It may be working less and more sociable hours somewhere else may be better.

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