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Mears serves notice served on another council over unacceptable carer wages

Mears Group, one of the UK’s leading providers of homecare for elderly and vulnerable people, has served notice to Sefton Council for offering new rates that would lead to unworkable pay and conditions for care workers.This follows the decision by Mears Group last month  to hand back its homecare contracts with both Liverpool and Wirral councils for the same reasons.Sefton Council’s proposed change to the hourly rate to £13 falls well short of the minimum £16.70 recommended by the United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA), which represents the care industry, and Mears believes that no organisation could legally deliver the care service required at the rate proposed by the councils.The change in minimum wage to the new National Living Wage alone has seen an increase in cost to providers of 11%, with further changes taking this to 40% by 2020.Following our withdrawal from Liverpool and Wirral, and by other care providers from homecare contracts, UKHCA called on councils to address properly the issue of underfunding and highlighted that some councils failed to understand the difference between hourly wage rates and the total cost of care services.Mears Group Executive Director, Alan Long, said: “The proposed new rate does not allow us to meet our responsibilities to the National Living Wage and provide a good, safe service to the people of Sefton, so once again we have been left with no option but to withdraw from the contract.“We will of course support Sefton Council with any transition of services to new providers, but we remain concerned that any provider could provide a safe and lawful service at this rate.”


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