Blaenau Gwent first council in Wales to sign UNISON’s ethical care charter

Blaenau Gwent council press release

Blaenau Gwent Council has today become the first local authority in Wales to sign Unison’s Ethical Care Charter reinforcing its commitment to fair working for home carers.

An online survey, ‘Time to Care’, carried out by the trade union showed that home care workers often feel poorly paid and treated and that they don’t always have enough time with clients to provide the necessary care, support and companionship due to time travelling between calls.

Unison’s over-riding objective behind the Charter is to establish a minimum baseline for the safety; quality and dignity of care by ensuring employment conditions support the recruitment and retention of a more stable workforce through more sustainable pay, conditions and training levels.

The Council is confident that working practices for home carers in Blaenau Gwent are good and signing the Charter is a continued commitment going forward, as well as the appetite to improve if necessary. In Blaenau Gwent the Council is keen to promote home care as a good career path for people of all ages and is hoping to attract more people into the role.

As well as adhering to the Charter for its direct employees, the Council also works closely with its commissioned domiciliary care providers to ensure that high quality care is provided.

The Council is already committed to paying its employees the Foundation Living Wage.

Dave Prentis, the General Secretary for Unison and Margaret Thomas, UNISON Cymru Wales Regional Secretary, visited the General Offices in Ebbw Vale today to sign the Charter with the Council’s Managing Director Michelle Morris; the Council’s Deputy Leader Cllr Garth Collier and Executive Member for Social Services Cllr John Mason.

Cllr Garth Collier, Deputy Leader of Blaenau Gwent Council said:

“It is wonderful to be leading the way in Wales by signing the Ethical Care Charter today. At Blaenau Gwent Council we work closely and positively with our trade unions for the good and wellbeing of all our employees. The Ethical Care Charter is something that this administration feels very strongly about and I am delighted that we are the first Council in Wales to put pen to paper and show our real commitment to this.”

Cllr John Mason, Executive Member for Social Services said:

“We are passionate that all our employees are supported by good and fair working conditions and in Social Services we want home carers to be able to do their jobs effectively. The carers are the people best placed to tell us exactly what support the people in their care need and by listening to them we can make sure that the best interests of our residents are being met. We are committed to working with all partners to provide high quality care and this will continue as we move forward with any future new care contracts. There is a need for more home carers so we will also be working to promote the role in the hope that we can attract more people to train up.”

Dave Prentis said:

“Ensuring fair employment conditions for care workers is essential if they are to improve the quality of life of the people they look after. UNISON’s ethical care charter highlights the key role that care workers play in society, by fighting to secure the pay and working conditions they deserve.”


For more information:

Louise Bishop

01495 356004

Alastair Gittins
UNISON Press Officer
07816 538397