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Latest update for members working in HC-One Care

Coronavirus (Covid-19) further guidance for members in HC-One

Date: 04/06/2020

HC-ONE FURLOUGH SCHEME

HC-One as part of the setting up of furlough scheme for employees has sent letters to members seeking permission to accept the Furlough scheme, GMB has raised concerns with HC-ONE regarding lay off, and repayment clauses within the letter, today we have agreed that an amendment will be sent out to all those  already in receipt of the letter which will remove any unintended detriment.

The Corona Job Retention Scheme (Furlough)will be closed to new entrants from 30 June.  From this date onwards, employers will only be able to furlough employees who have already been furloughed for a full three-week period prior to 30 June. In practical terms, this means that the final date by which employers can furlough any individual employee for the first time will be 10 June (so that three-week minimum period can be completed by 30th).  With 10th June less than a week away, it is critical that employers consider now whether they will need to furlough any more staff, so they do not miss the closing date.

HCONE is currently furloughing the following employees:

  • Those shielding.
  • Those whose household member has been told to shield.
  • Those who are unable to secure care provision for a dependent where care arrangements have been disrupted. (NB: As key workers, children are able to attend school/nursery.) – the evidence submitted for this situation requires approval from MD.
  • Pregnant workers >28 weeks pregnant or <28 weeks with an underlying condition in line with government guidance.

If you believe that you should be furloughed, then please contact:

03339998595 - humanresources.helpdesk@hc-one.co.uk

https://www.gmb.org.uk/coronavirus

Not a GMB Member? Join today at www.gmb.org.uk/join 

 

Date: 27/05/20

HC-ONE MEMBERS UPDATE         

GMB Union Officials have continued to meet with HC-ONE throughout the pandemic via conference calls to discuss the issues that have been raised by GMB members.

SSP

GMB advised HC-ONE that our members were pleased that they would now receive full pay if they have tested positive for COVID, however many were concerned that they would not be entitled to any payments previously as the testing wasn’t available. HC-ONCE responded that they wanted to push the testing to protect the workforce and residents and recognised that this was the best way forward, they recognised that they could not please everyone.  GMB made it clear that full sick pay was one of or Key demands and that we would be seeking improvements to the scheme at every opportunity and in line with the Government’s announcement for extra funding for care home infection control.

Testing

HC-ONE advised that they were able to test Carers and Residents much quicker now, and that it was an improving picture within the homes, yet it was recognised that there were some differences between Wales, England & Scotland.

HC-ONE's testing policy is available here.

If any GMB members wishes to raise an issue or concerns, then please contact your GMB Workplace rep or Regional Officer.

 

                             

30/04/20

Download Bulletin (pdf)

HCONE Weekly Meeting Bulletin

During the COVID pandemic GMB National Officers have been meeting with HCONE Senior Management Team on a weekly basis. During these discussions we raise concerns that GMB members have brought to the attention of the Workplace representatives or Regional Officer.

HEALTH & SAFETY

GMB discussed with HC-ONE Health and Safety concerns that have been raised by the GMB representatives. GMB asked for an update on how RIDDOR referrals are being completed. HCONE advised that they have had conflicting advice from different sources, and they will be meeting with the Health and Safety executive to confirm how they should deal with RIDDOR reporting.

We have agreed to set up a separate Health & Safety meeting to discuss the Risk assessments including those completed for pregnant workers as it was highlighted that one home had been using an out of date Risk assessment form, this issue was addressed immediately by HCONE and it was agreed that we would invite GMB National H&S Officer Lynsey Mann to attend these meetings.

SICK PAY

GMB asked for feedback to the earlier request for sick pay for those staff that have been affected by COVID 19. HCONE responded that they understood the concerns and are looking into the current situation.

HCONE current sickness levels are running at around 20%

OTHER ISSUES

HCONE requested a meeting with the GMB National Committee as early as possible to engage with the GMB workplace reps.

 

HCONE raised concerns that some employees were refusing to be tested and have asked for a position from GMB, GMB will respond once we have a National position.

24/04/20

Download Bulletin (pdf)

During the Covid pandemic GMB National Officers have been meeting with HC ONE Senior Management Team on a weekly basis. During these discussions we raise concerns that GMB members have brought to the attention of Workplace Representatives or their Regional Officer.

PPE

HC ONE thanked GMB for raising the issues regarding PPE in homes. The information is being dealt with immediately and being addressed in the homes as soon as possible, all concerns are being logged onto the Datix system so that there is a record of concerns raised. HC ONE confirmed that it has at least 6/7 weeks full PPE available for EACH through the country.

The company has spent in excess of £3.5 million on PPE.

FURLOUGH

GMB has sought improvement to the furlough scheme. GMB now asks HC ONE to consider the following:

  • Up-lifting the Furlough Scheme to 100% for those staff that are in the most ‘vulnerable group’
  • Furloughing those employees who are:
    • in the ‘at risk’ group who have been advised to self-isolate for 12 weeks with a letter from GP or Consultant.
    • Those with a family member who has a letter from NHS/GP/Consultant, where the employee is wholly or substantially responsible for the delivery of their care
  • Full Sick Pay for 14 days in the event staff are self-isolating / off sick with Covid 19.

HC ONE recognize that more needs to be done but need to consider the impact on the business. The board is considering making improvements and this in turn will remain on the agenda going forward. I will update the regions where I can.

OTHER ISSUES

  • HC ONE confirmed that no member of staff will be deducted if late due to the impact of C19 on public transport. Members should discuss with Home Manager in the first instance.
  • All families have now been sent letters to advise that they should not be attending the home unless necessary (end of life). All PPE and safe distances apply, they should not move around the home apart from to and from their family member’s room.
  • Movement of staff to a new site or different care home will only be done where necessary. HC-ONE have had a dumber of staff self-isolating which has left their staffing levels lower than expected in some areas.
  • Residents being transferred from hospital will be tested before they move, and isolated in their rooms for 14 days as required.

KELLY ANDREWS - NATIONAL OFFICER

17/04/20

Furlough

GMB members will be aware that your union has been in constant discussion with HC-One during the COVID19 Crisis.

Many GMB members have been advised to shiedl by the Government due to health reasons that put you at risk of COVID 19. When the government announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, under which HMRC will protect workers' wages up to 80% of their usual pay, to cap of £2,500/month

Originally, HC-One did not qualify for this scheme which meant that they were unable to offer this to our members.

GMB has been demanding that the Gvoernment address the unfairness faced by our Social Care Workforce who are on the fontline. We were pleased that alongside our campaign Sir David Behan, John Ransford and David Smith, HC-One Board Members, were also in talks with HMRC and the government.

HC-One is now able to access this scheme for the most vulnerable workers, who have been advised to shield.

This means that any HC-One employee who is in reciept of a letter from the NHS will be eligible to be placed on furlough leave and receive 80% of their usual pay.

This payment will be made instead of SSP which was previously payable and will be backdated to when they commenced their shielding, up to March 1st.

The HR team is currently in the process of informing those who are eligible and ensure the necessary processes are applied.

If anyone has any queries in relation to the scheme please contact the HR Helpline on:

0333 999 8589

Lines are open 8am to 10pm Monday to Friday

KELLY ANDREWS - NATIONAL OFFICER

 

21/03/20

The GMB is in regular communication with HC One regarding their Covid-19 planning and we have a weekly call scheduled for the entirety of the crisis to ensure our members concerns are addressed as speedily as possible. Information and advice is changing daily and we will endeavor to keep you up to date with developments.

 

Pregnant Workers

HC One are currently in the process of amending the expectant mothers’ risk assessment to include Covid-19. It is hoped that this will be ready by the end of Monday 23rd March.

No pregnant worker will be forced to attend work if they do not want to. If you are pregnant and wish to exercise social distancing and not attend work, you will be paid Statutory Sick Pay.

 

HC One: Coronavirus Helpline / Email

HC One have set up a helpline / email address which is available to all staff and can be accessed between the hours of 8am – 10pm Monday to Sunday.

These are covered by HR professionals who have been fully informed of all changes and developments and should be able to advise on a wide range of issues.

Staff are advised to use these helplines in the first instance for all Covid-19 queries. Home Managers need only be contacted in order to report absence.

                        Phone: 0333 999 8595

                        Email: humanresources.helpdesk@hc-one.co.uk

Staff will also shortly be issued with details of support services that HC One have procured. These should hopefully be with all care homes on Monday 23rd & Tuesday 24th March.

The GMB understands that this is a time where many of our members, who have already been working under immense pressures, will be expected to go over and above, more so than normal. We want to assure you that we are doing everything in our power to get you the protection and support that you need.

Full details about Coronavirus for GMB members is available on our dedicated webpage and can be accessed using the following link:

Coronavirus advice

Enter the Coronavirus Hub

If you are affected by any of the above and need further guidance and support, please speak with your local GMB representative.

Not a GMB Member? Join today at www.gmb.org.uk/join

 
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