Up to 100 community carers are to benefit from a new payment scheme that’s been launched by Trackars Healthcare in which the company will now remunerate their workers for their travel time between service users’ calls and mileage.
As the first Northern Irish healthcare provider to offer the combined payment for mileage and travel time, from February 2017, Trackars’ full and part-time community carers stand to benefit an average pay increase of 10-18% on their weekly wage following the introduction of the new payment plan.
“There are thousands of healthcare workers in Northern Ireland, who are delivering vital care work every day in communities,” said managing director Patricia Casement.
“With our aging population, ‘at home’ care is helping elderly and vulnerable people here to maintain as independent lives as possible, whilst remaining at home, therefore we recognise and appreciate the instrumental work which our care workers undertake daily.”
Speaking about the motivation behind the introduction of the payment, which will cost the company £152,316 a year on average, she said: “Aligned to our company values, it’s always been our goal to ensure that our high standards are also implemented with regards to staff remuneration.
“That’s why we’ve decided to become the first healthcare agency in Northern Ireland to pay travel time and mileage, ensuring that our team is properly rewarded for all of the hours that they spend both delivering services and travelling to and from calls.”
Being introduced at the beginning of February, a bespoke software system was developed over the last few months to calculate and manage payment for mileage and travel times based on individual rotas.
This will ensure that all staff members automatically receive their additional payments as part of their weekly salary without having to keep a record of their own daily travel times and mileage.
Registered care worker, Annmarie Quinn from Downpatrick said: “It’s commonplace for care workers in Northern Ireland not to receive any remuneration for the time and fuel that it takes to travel between service users’ calls. For myself, this equates to approximately 10 hours’ travel time.”