Zero hours contracts and homecare: yet more stress?

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We are all aware of the critical role that domiciliary workers play in maintaining the health, happiness and independence of their service users. However, 60% of these homecare workers are working under zero hours contracts.  

With homecare staff turnover at a worryingly high rate, are these contracts the key to changing the state of the industry? How do they affect the wellbeing of your staff and service users? Is it time for things to change?

In September 2018, a study was undertaken into how zero hours contracts affect stress in the UK homecare industry.

Four key stressors

Four key stressors emerged across both those with zero hours contracts and those without:

  1. Low pay – With an average hourly rate of just £8.08, homecare workers are generally not well compensated for the difficult work they do
  2. Work/life balance – Long hours and varied timings of visits often encroached upon homecare workers’ personal lives unfavourably
  3. Rude/aggressive behaviour  – coming from both service users and their families
  4. Lack of peer support – Respondents felt isolated during and after their homecare training, unsupported by colleagues and management

Two further stressors were discovered for those working on zero hours contracts only:

    1. Power balance Respondents felt like the balance of power was very much weighted towards the management
    2. Being unable to plan their lives – Low pay and unreliable hours brings uncertainty to the lives of homecare workers, preventing them from making plans

On.Board can help

On.Board is a new, award-winning homecare training platform that has the ability to positively affect the experiences of your staff, whether they are working on a zero hours contract or not.

 1. Give your staff a better work/life balance

On.Board has a series of features that create a more effective and organised training experience for your homecare workers:

 2. Give them the support they need, when they need it

On.Board actively promotes communication between management or mentors and homecare workers. Feedback from both parties is prompted throughout the duration of training, ensuring that problem areas are highlighted and fixed efficiently.  

Opening a line of communication between staff and management helps develop a healthy relationship with management and minimise power imbalance. Further, any behavioural issues with service users and their families can be reported and acted upon quickly.

If you would like to find out more about On.Board and get on your way to a happier, healthier agency, book your free demo here.

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