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Working for less than minimum wage (after expenses)
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# 1
Ynayesta
Old 06-12-2012, 7:01 PM
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Default Working for less than minimum wage (after expenses)

Hi, I did a quick search and couldn't find something similar, sorry if it's out there.
This is my first genuine post, long time MSE lurker but never got around to signing up until now.

I've recently (3 weeks) started work as a domicilary care assistant, that's caring for clients in their own homes, for minimum wage. After doing a lot of budgeting and maths I've come to the sad conclusion that I'm worse off for money now, than I was on JSA.

I am a walker, so I can't physically do more than 25 hours a week. It is necessary that I have a bus pass or I would not be able to attend most of my calls on time/at all. I would not find any issue with this, if It didn't mean that I was paying to attend work. I am to be given a travel allowance at the total of 10p per call (most calls are half an hour but some of 45 minutes) totalling at little over 4 a week, it doesn't cover the cost of my bus pass. With this and using my phone/credit also being necessary. I am actually earning less than minimum wage after having to pay out these expenses (20 on my mobile so far this month - but including personal usage too)

Sorry about the long winded poorly written paragraph but I'm really quite desperate for some advice. I am going to be sacrificing my days off for job searching (I don't want to sound ungrateful for my job, but it's put me in a not so favourable position) to try and find a better paid job that I could do more hours in. However as I will be getting less money than I got on JSA to cover my food/and everything else I really could use some pointers.

I have to be off to work now so I wont be able to reply until later, thank you for reading though, and thanks some more if you're able to help.
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# 2
tonyh66
Old 06-12-2012, 7:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ynayesta View Post
Hi, I did a quick search and couldn't find something similar, sorry if it's out there.
This is my first genuine post, long time MSE lurker but never got around to signing up until now.

I've recently (3 weeks) started work as a domicilary care assistant, that's caring for clients in their own homes, for minimum wage. After doing a lot of budgeting and maths I've come to the sad conclusion that I'm worse off for money now, than I was on JSA.

I am a walker, so I can't physically do more than 25 hours a week. It is necessary that I have a bus pass or I would not be able to attend most of my calls on time/at all. I would not find any issue with this, if It didn't mean that I was paying to attend work. I am to be given a travel allowance at the total of 10p per call (most calls are half an hour but some of 45 minutes) totalling at little over 4 a week, it doesn't cover the cost of my bus pass. With this and using my phone/credit also being necessary. I am actually earning less than minimum wage after having to pay out these expenses (20 on my mobile so far this month - but including personal usage too)

Sorry about the long winded poorly written paragraph but I'm really quite desperate for some advice. I am going to be sacrificing my days off for job searching (I don't want to sound ungrateful for my job, but it's put me in a not so favourable position) to try and find a better paid job that I could do more hours in. However as I will be getting less money than I got on JSA to cover my food/and everything else I really could use some pointers.

I have to be off to work now so I wont be able to reply until later, thank you for reading though, and thanks some more if you're able to help.
I dunno what this means I am a walker, so I can't physically do more than 25 hours a week.

10p per call is a bit tight though, are they all close together, if you were using a car would you be getting more?

Why are you using your mobile, and if you are using it for work you should be getting expenses for it.

I guess you could also claim travelling expenses?

I take it you are on NMW and the expenses are taking you below?
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# 3
Ynayesta
Old 06-12-2012, 9:30 PM
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Yes, sorry if I wasn't very clear. Because I'm walking rather than in a car it takes me a lot longer to get between calls so I can't actually do any more hours I'm working a 16ish hour day (with travel) but actually working for 6 of those hours.

I would apparently be getting more if using a car, 10p is a fixed rate they give to walkers. I'm using it to call the office/manager about work only related stuff yes. It's essential so I did wonder about this and if I should be getting expenses however I was told because it's Pay as you Go that it 'doesn't qualify'. Does anyone know if this is correct?

The 10p per call is the travel expenses, they say that's what they give to everyone and there's "no need" for more.

___

Some of them are 15 minute walks, some of them are half an hour + on the bus or over an hour walking. The rota isn't very consistent.

Yes sorry, that's what i tried to explain. I'm on NMW but the expenses are taking me below.

Thanks for your response.

Last edited by Ynayesta; 06-12-2012 at 9:31 PM. Reason: ETA
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# 4
SarEl
Old 06-12-2012, 10:32 PM
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I may be wrong but this type of work is generally only clocked as time on the client site with maybe a short period of allowance for between calls. So your "walking time" probably isn't "on the clock" and therefore isn't counted as working hours.

I'm afraid it is common practice that if you can't prove your call costs with a bill then employers won't pay them.
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# 5
dawyldthing
Old 06-12-2012, 11:22 PM
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i'd make a note of any queries during the day and e-mail them to them in the evening as it will save on calling costs, plus it gives you a record
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# 6
sweetilemon
Old 06-12-2012, 11:27 PM
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Not much advice other than continue your plan of finding a more suitable job, however could you try to reduce your mobile costs? Virgin mobile do rolling contracts, 30day contract so if it doesnt suit you can cancel after on month. They do packages from 7 per month. I have the 12 one, 1200mins 1GB web and Unlimited texts.
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# 7
gibson123
Old 06-12-2012, 11:40 PM
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It does sound a lot of time and a lot of work for little return, well done for persevering, I admire you for doing this job, but you really need another job, sorry I don't have better advice.
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# 8
heretolearn
Old 07-12-2012, 6:59 AM
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Could you use a bicycle instead of walking? that would speed you up between visits and let you do more, making it all more worthwhile.
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# 9
tonyh66
Old 07-12-2012, 8:25 AM
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It sounds like you need to find another job, you cannot be doing this for NMW. Try to find another job while working in this one, and if you get interviews be honest about why you need to move on.
Good luck im sure you will find something, it sounds like you have you head screwed on and work hard.
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# 10
Ynayesta
Old 07-12-2012, 9:50 AM
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Thank you everyone for your helpful replies. I will look into vodaphone, as that sounds a lot more suitable for me atm. I actually own a bicycle but am not yet in good enough health to guarantee i'd be able to make calls on time. Unfortunately most calls i've had to make to the office have been 'emergancies' as in must be reported immediately, they also call me while i'm in calls (so I can't answer) and ask me to call back asap, so I have no idea how important it usually is, and it tends to be emergancy cover.

Yep time is only clocked with client and 10p travel allowance to each call. Producing a bill, I think that might actually be possible, I'll call my provider up and ask if they can get me an itemised bill, but if there's a fee attatched to it I think I'll ask my employer about it first.

Thanks all you've been very helpful.
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# 11
HappyMJ
Old 07-12-2012, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ynayesta View Post
Thank you everyone for your helpful replies. I will look into vodaphone, as that sounds a lot more suitable for me atm. I actually own a bicycle but am not yet in good enough health to guarantee i'd be able to make calls on time. Unfortunately most calls i've had to make to the office have been 'emergancies' as in must be reported immediately, they also call me while i'm in calls (so I can't answer) and ask me to call back asap, so I have no idea how important it usually is, and it tends to be emergancy cover.

Yep time is only clocked with client and 10p travel allowance to each call. Producing a bill, I think that might actually be possible, I'll call my provider up and ask if they can get me an itemised bill, but if there's a fee attatched to it I think I'll ask my employer about it first.

Thanks all you've been very helpful.
Personally, I don't the job will ever be worthwhile. I wouldn't do it and unfortunately I would have to return to JSA as it pays more and my living comes before my moral duty to work and not claim benefits. You can quit a job if it pays less than NMW without being sanctioned.
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# 12
theoretica
Old 07-12-2012, 6:14 PM
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When you call the office could you ask them to call you back so you only get the minimum call charge?
But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
Had the whole of their cash in his care.
Lewis Carroll
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# 13
keyser666
Old 07-12-2012, 8:14 PM
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As SarEl says above very common practice in this field and above board albeit as bit slippery from my point of view.

I would suggest doing what others do and if you are sharing clients car share and also look on caring forums for ways to cut back and make the most of the time whilst providing the best care possible
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# 14
TrickyWicky
Old 07-12-2012, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by tonyh66 View Post
I dunno what this means I am a walker, so I can't physically do more than 25 hours a week.
Pretty obvious really. The person walks. That means from one client to another. That takes time and a lot more of it than a car would.

If you have 6 clients that live an hour apart the op will get paid for 6 hours. Thats 6 unpaid hours walking between them. That means the op is physically limited to the amount of hours they can earn money in per week including sleep.

There are 168 hours in a week. Take away 63 for sleep (allowing 9 hours per day) leaves 105. Op has stated they're doing around 16 hours a day - so over 5 days thats 80 hours leaving just 25 hours left per week. I don't think it's fair to expect the op to work those too just to earn a survival.

@Ynayesta sorry but you need to get a better job.
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# 15
flyinggiraffe
Old 07-12-2012, 11:15 PM
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Any way of getting a little moped to whizz round town on?

If you have a lot of clients who live in the same block of flats/area, then to be more efficient it would make sense to see them one after the other so the travelling time is cut down. Do you know if your employer arranges the visits like this or do you find you are going back and forth across town constantly?
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# 16
keyser666
Old 08-12-2012, 12:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyinggiraffe View Post
Any way of getting a little moped to whizz round town on?

If you have a lot of clients who live in the same block of flats/area, then to be more efficient it would make sense to see them one after the other so the travelling time is cut down. Do you know if your employer arranges the visits like this or do you find you are going back and forth across town constantly?
The employer tends to arrange the rota and which clients on different runs. It is down to the person requesting these services that request what hours they would like to be visited and how often, whether fo just once a day or for a breakfast, lunch and evening run. So it would be pretty difficult to get a certain run for the OP together and these companies are not all that accommodating.

As said above there are some forums that can assist with ways and means to minimise outlay and maximise income. An ex girlfriend of mine used to work in this sector so pretty au fait with it

Dont forget to claim tax for cleaning your uniform too !

Last edited by keyser666; 08-12-2012 at 12:24 AM.
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# 17
Ynayesta
Old 08-12-2012, 2:13 PM
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I really wanted to get a moped yes, mostly because the walking is exhausting me, but I wouldn't be able to run one on my wages and I don't think it'd be worth getting a loan/finance for this job.

Fingers crossed for another one to come along quickly XD.

yep it's the care co-ordinator's responsibility to allocate carers to clients at the right hours that are also the easiest for the carer to do. Unfortunately when all the clients want their calls at certain times, and the office fails to give me adequate walking time/is generally unorganised (as is the case with a lot of domiciliary care companies) I can only move my rota around so much, sometimes the calls are in a nice orderly route and sometimes it is back and forth across town.

They called me on my day off yesterday - I was out and left my mobile at home, I have an answer message but I'm not going to use my phone credit unless it's a complete emergency now because I wont get paid until the end of the month and there's 3 credit on it. I don't think I can be disciplined for not using my phone for work. I'm going to try and keep it to emails as much as I can.

Thanks again everyone for being so helpful. I'll look into some care forums.
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