HALTON Council has pledged to support an ethical care charter that will ensure adequate staffing levels and sufficient time for workers to care for vulnerable people.

The charter, drawn up by the union Unison, includes commitments that staff will be paid for travel time, expenses, and have opportunities to meet together to avoid isolation.

Workers will receive regular free training and be able to voice any concerns.

Halton Council leader Cllr Rob Polhill, said: “We are proud to support such an important charter.

“As a council our workers are our most valuable asset and if we look after them, they will look after the service users.”

By signing the charter, the council is committing to work towards ensuring all home care staff in commissioned services receive the real living wage, currently £8.75 per hour, plus occupational sick pay.

Staff at Millbrow Care Home in Widnes recently taken over by the council have had their pay increased to the real living wage.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: “Making this commitment to decent employment conditions for care workers is vital for improving the quality of life for the people they look after.

“Unison’s ethical care charter is leading the way in highlighting the importance of care work and in fighting to win the pay and conditions they deserve.

“The charter sets out minimum employment standards that will end the bad practices that we too-often see in social care. Care staff should not be having to dash between, and at, appointments.

“They should not be on poverty pay or having to work when they are ill. They should not be isolated and they should not be afraid to raise concerns about services with their employer.

“Halton is to be applauded for being the latest council to sign up to the ethical care charter.”