My manger calls me to ask if I could take on a couple of night shifts. There is a rather confused 90-some year old lady with a live-in carer who is up quite a lot at night. The carer cannot sleep at night, so the company wants to send out a night-shift hourly carer for the entire night. I said yes. In a short while my manager calls again calling the assignment off. When I ask what happened she explains that the family is not willing to pay for the additional carer so the company will not pursue it any longer. I said OK, hang off then I went up in fumes.
First of all, the company does not pay the live-in carer to stay the night, let alone working instead of sleeping at night. According to company policy, live-in carers stay the night at their workplace because they have nowhere else to sleep, not because they work. Hence no payment. Live-in carers are payed for 15 hours a day of work below the national minimum wage. It is only possible because live-in carers are asked to sign a so-called opt-out document (close) which states that you are OK with the fact that you are payed less than the national minimum wage and that you work free at night.
Why nobody complains?
Most live-in carers are foreigners who do not live in the UK. They fly in for work and then they return to their home countries when finished with their assignment. These people do not actually care about UK or EU regulations because they earn approximately 3-4 times more than what they would earn in their home countries.
Nobody does live-in care work for its career prospects. There is none.
So, some care companies can make 11 million GBP profit a year without a hint of guilt.