National Minimum Wage (Care Sector)
This Assembly recognises the importance of the national minimum wage (NMW) for workers in London and welcomes its increase in October. The benefits of a minimum wage are significant and include better staff retention and productivity as well as a reduction in the level of tax credits and benefits paid out by the state.
Consequently, the Assembly is deeply concerned by reports that some employers in London’s care services sector are avoiding their responsibility to pay NMW by refusing to pay workers for their journey time between appointments. A number of London councils have contracts with such companies and studies estimate that between 150,000 and 200,000 care workers are affected nationally, with women and migrant workers being disproportionately impacted.
The Assembly believes that the Mayor, particularly given his commitment to a London Living Wage, should speak out against this practice in respect of care workers in London. The Assembly further calls on the Mayor of London to condemn care service providers in London who fail to pay their workers for the travel time between appointments and to write to each London Borough to highlight the issue and to encourage the adoption of best practice on the issue of pay for workers in London’s care services sector, including the adoption of the London Living Wage. Finally, given the powerful moral and economic case for minimum wages and, in particular, the Living Wage, this Assembly calls on the Mayor to publicly distance himself from recent calls by Tony Arbour AM for a National Minimum Wage ‘holiday’, which would allow employers in London to opt-out of the payment of the National Minimum Wage.