Race to the bottom scandals in the news
Race to the bottom: MiHomecare exposed as paying less than the minimum wage and Your Care Barnet rated ‘inadequate’.
Care provider MiHomecare is in the news today as paying less than the minimum wage. Corporate Watch have obtained a revealing internal report in which they estimate that in the Penarth branch they underpaid their workers by as much as £80,000 over three years.
Owned by outsourcing giant Mitie, MiHomecare is also scheduling home visits with no travel time in between, meaning carers have to leave appointments early.
The review, which is prepared by MiHomecare's owner, Mitie, considers how to respond to an investigation by HMRC into pay rates at the Penarth and Swansea branches. The review recommends:
“The discussion [with HMRC] should not be widened to the whole of [MiCareHome], although in reaching any settlement… we should be aware of the wider implications for the group.”
The Mitie group made profits of £49m in 2014, with its care subsidiary posting profits of £8.2m in the same year. MiHomecare is the fourth biggest home care services provider in the UK. Mitie CEO Ruby McGregor-Smith made almost £1.5m last year.
In another example of the impact of the race to the bottom in social care, Barnet Supported Living services run by ‘Your Choice’ have received an inadequate rating from the care Quality Commission. We have supported strikes against pay cuts by workers in the service. Many waned of the impact on service quality when Barnet transferred it from the council in 2012. Barnet Unison have called for Barnet to take the service back in house.
Unite is calling on responsible providers to agree decent sector standards with us to protect both workers in the sector and service quality. We would also call on councils and commissioners to insist services are provided by employers that meet such standards.
Read about the Unite campaign for a national agreement to ensure decent sector standards here
Read the report from Corporate Watch here
Read a local news report on Your care Barnet here