News & Media

Pay & conditions must be improved for home care assistants

14 May 2019

Statement by Alan Kelly TD
Spokesperson on Health

Labour Party health spokesperson Alan Kelly TD has called for a registered employment agreement to improve pay and conditions for those who work in the home help sector.

Deputy Kelly said:

“Figures by the HSE have showed there is a pressure on providing home help care across the country.

“It is clear that a recruitment problem in this sector exists with many choosing to leave the sector to go elsewhere for better pay and conditions.

“As a population we are getting older pressure on the services are really increasing we need to make sure that there are adequate levels of staff in this vital sector.

“A major issue is the level of private companies who are providing home care in this country at the moment who are resistant to workers being represented by a union. This can lead to poor pay and conditions for many workers who are providing a vital service

“We need to ensure that workers are paid properly and are getting better conditions that is why it is high time for Ministers Doherty and Harris to introduce a registered agreement to ensure better pay and conditions.

“Providing better pay and conditions to home care workers could help ease the pressure in other parts of the health service. If the Government is serious about using hospital resources effectively and efficiently, including very expensive acute beds, home care packages need to play a central role in this.

“Home help assistants are among the hardest working people in the health service. They always go the extra yard and over and above the call of duty such is their attitude and dedication. They earn every penny they get and the home help programme and home care packages should be enhanced and improved in the interest of patient care.”