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Care workers will get £200,000 in back pay after being underpaid by council

The majority of staff work for Care4Ce in homes in Macclesfield and across the borough.

Carers who have been underpaid for their work are set to get £200,000 back in a payout by the council.

Cheshire East Council has announced it will backdate pay to care staff following a legal ruling on the National Minimum Wage which shows it’s been underpaying care workers.

The ruling applies to rates of pay for workers who are required to work ‘sleep-in shifts’, where they are on duty at night.

If the care staff are on overnight shifts in care homes or in individuals’ homes they may have been able to sleep through the night, but have to be available to be woken and provide care as necessary.

The ruling found that sleep-in care staff should be paid national minimum wage for each hour on duty, even if asleep.

It means that the council has been underpaying its care workers so the authority has had to pay workers what they are due - a total of £200,000 for 116 staff members.

The majority work for the council’s social care team Care4Ce which has staff who operate residential homes and in individuals’ homes in Macclesfield and across the borough.

Coun Paul Findlow, cabinet member for corporate policy and legal services said: “We have undertaken an extensive review to establish exactly who this ruling affects and how much each individual is owed.

“Cheshire East Council is a responsible employer.

“We respect and value all our employees and want to ensure that they are paid fairly for the valuable work they do.”

The landmark employment tribunal ruling in May this year ruled that the charity Mencap and others had underpaid its staff by giving them a flat-rate overnight sleep-in allowance, rather than paying at or above the national minimum wage for each of those hours, even if asleep.

This ruling is currently subject to appeal, but Cheshire East states it’s complying with the law as it stands now.

It applies to employers including charities, nursing home operators and councils across the country.

All affected staff will receive a letter confirming the payments due and how it was calculated as well as receiving their arrears of pay going back two years in their October salaries.

Cheshire East has looked back at what its paid care workers over the last two years to work out the payout due to be given to staff.

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