Higher penalties for breaking minimum wage law

The government has announced plans to increase penalty fares for social care employer who fail to pay staff the national minimum wage.

Currently, the penalty imposed on social care employers who do not abide by the law includes covering the unpaid wages, as well as 50% of the total underpayment of workers investigated. The governments plans to review this penalty could potentially see a penalty increase from £5,000 to £20,000.

With the nature of social care, it should remain a case where employees are shown the upmost respect in the work field, including in regards to their pay. At times, it may seem like employers in the social care field easily forget how physically and emotionally challenging the duties undertaken by care workers can be.

In most cases, you also find a correlating link between the level of pay and quality of services provisioned by care workers. We find that offering good pay to our carers motivates them to provide a better service to our service users. We always hear of instances in which a carer has made the conscious decision to leave an agency because they felt they were not being offered a respectable wage so it is surprising to read that there are employers who are not even offering their employees the basic wage.

This government review does not come as a surprise, at a time where we are hearing about cases of abuse within social care. As social care employers, we need to ensure that the quality of our services is not hindered or compromised by the poor choice to not offer a respectable pay packet for carers. On top of this, if we work collaboratively as senior members of staff with our employees we can be confident that our level of services can only be on the rise.