Employment Responsibilities and Rights in Health & Social Care (ERR Booklet)

Employment Responsibilities and Rights in Health and Social Care or in Children`s and Young People’s Settings

2013 – 2014

Name of Organisation: CARE COMPANY Ltd

Name of Student: FRED BLOGGS

Employment Responsibilities and Rights in Health and Social Care or in Children`s and Young People’s Settings

This workbook intends to cover the requirements of employment rights and responsibilities within the Specification of Apprenticeship Standards for England. This workbook is written so that it can be applied in a working context.

The workbook covers:

 

  • Statutory responsibilities and rights of employees and employers
  • Awareness of own occupational role and how it fits within the sector
  • Agreed ways of working with employer
  • Career pathways
  • Issues of public concern and how they may influence changes in the sector.

 

Know the statutory responsibilities and rights of employees and employers within own area of work.

1.1, 1.2, 1.3 – Within your work setting find out about all the aspects of employment covered by law and list the main features of each outlining why they exist. This should be set out in headings using all the space available.

Legislation covers a wide range of aspects within my workplace. It is designed to protect individuals from being exploited, ensure they are treated fairly and to keep them safe. They can be broadly split into four categories; equality, employee rights, data protection and health & safety.

Equality

Not too long ago, there were a number of laws concerned with treating people in the workplace (and everywhere else) fairly and without prejudice. Such laws included the Sex Discrimination Act, the Race Relations Act and the Disability Discrimination Act. All of these laws were superseded by the Equality Act 2010, which requires all individuals are treated equally regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion, belief, race, gender reassignment and marriage/civil partnership.

Employee Rights

All employees have a set of statutory rights that they are entitled to. These include:

  • the right to be paid minimum wage (National Minimum Wage Act 1998)
  • the right to an itemised payslip (Employment Rights Act 1996)
  • the right to a certain amount of paid holiday per year, usually 5.6 weeks (Working Time Regulations 2007)
  • the right to a reasonable amount of unpaid time off to look after a dependent (Employment Relations Act)
  • the right to not be dismissed or treated unfairly if you become a ‘whistleblower’ (Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998)
  • the right not not work more than 48 hours per week, unless you opt out (Working Time Regulations 1998)
  • the right to Statutory Sick Pay (under certain circumstances)

This is not an exhaustive list – there are many more employee rights and regulations.

Data Protection

The Data Protection Act 1998 is designed to protect people’s fundamental rights and freedoms, in particular their right to privacy. It does this by ensuring personal information is used fairly, is only used for the purpose it is collected, is accurate, is not kept longer than necessary and is kept safe and secure.

Health & Safety

This is primarily covered by the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974. It places the responsibility of all aspects of employee and public health, safety and welfare at work on the employer. In a nutshell, employers must take reasonable steps to ensure safety in the workplace. The Act also sets out the duties that employees have to themselves and each other (e.g. reporting things that are unsafe, recording accidents etc.).

Health & Safety also includes the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH), Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at Work Regulations 1992 and the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013.

 

1.4 – Now identify all the types of information and advice available in relation to employment responsibilities and rights.My sources of information relating to employment issues include:

Understand agreed ways of working that protect own relationship with employer

2.1 – Look at a copy of your own contract of employment in your workplace and describe your terms and conditions.

The terms and conditions in my own contract of employment includes:

  • Main place of work (variable)
  • Job title (Support Worker)
  • Minimum contracted hours (37 hours per week)
  • Hours of employment (7am to 11pm with sleep-ins)
  • Pay rate (£7.50 per hour and £25 for a sleep-in) paid on or before the 1st of each month
  • Holiday entitlement (5.6 weeks per annum)
  • Employment conditional on a satisfactory DBS certificate and probationary period

Also, it is a requirement that I disclose any criminal offences with which I am charged and that I am prepared to undertake mandatory company training in line with my job role.

2.2 – After looking at your payslip details describe the information shown. Any areas you do not understand ask for an explanation from your manager (consider confidentiality issues).

My payslip displays the following info:

  • Personal info (name, NI number, tax code)
  • Hours worked (Split between Basic hours, Annual Leave hours & Sleep-ins)
  • Gross pay
  • Deductions (Income tax & National Insurance)
  • NET pay (after deductions)
  • Gross & NET pay & deductions this financial year

2.3 – Describe the procedures to follow in the event of a grievance.

In the event of a grievance, most issues can be resolved by speaking informally with my manager, however formal grievances must be raised in writing, explaining the nature and extent of the problem. Then, I will be invited to a meeting with a senior member of staff who will investigate the matter thoroughly and will be informed of the decision in writing within ten days. If I wish to appeal against the decision I must inform the Director within five days and then I will be invited to a further meeting with a more senior manager. I will receive the final decision within a further ten days. At any stage I have the right to be accompanied by a fellow employee or trade union representative to assist me.

If I still wasn’t satisfied, I would have to take my grievance outside the company, perhaps to ACAS or my trade union or take independent legal advice from a solicitor.

There is a separate procedure for if the grievance is regarding personal harassment.

2.4 – Now identify the personal information that must be kept up to date with own employer

My employer keeps the following information about me:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Telephone number
  • Date of birth
  • Copies of certificates
  • My C.V including record of education and experience
  • N.I. number
  • Tax code
  • Emergency contact details/Next of kin
  • Employment terms and condition
  • Details of any accidents/serious incidents
  • Disciplinary record
  • Copy of my DBS record
  • Details of any disabilities

It is my responsibility to inform my HR department if any of these details change or need updating. I do this by contacting head office.

2.5 – Explain the agreed ways of working with employer

My employer and I have a plethora of agreed ways of working, which are laid out within our Employee Handbook and Company Policies & Procedures.

For example, I am expected to be available to work on Bank Holidays, however additional days are added to my Annual Leave to compensate.

To book Annual Leave, I must request the dates from my manager no less than four weeks before it is due to commence using a Holiday Request Form. My manager will authorise or decline this within five working days. Annual leave runs from April to April and cannot be carried over into a new financial year. Special dispensation from the Director is needed if more than two consecutive weeks of holiday are desired.

When I am too sick to work, I must notify my manager by telephone at the earliest opportunity and no later than two hours before I am due to start work. I am also required to give some indication of my expected return date and notify my manager if this date changes. This procedure should be followed every day of absence, unless I have a doctor’s medical certificate. If I am absent for up to seven days  I am required to sign a self-certification form upon my return to work. After seven days, I am required to notify work of my continued absence on a weekly basis and provide them with a fit note/medical certificate from my doctor. Upon returning to work I may be required to attend a ‘Return to Work’ interview.

 

Understand how own role fits within the wider context of the sector

3.1 Explain how own role fits within the delivery of the service provider
My role as Support Worker is to provide care in accordance with current best practice, according to policy and procedures, agreed standards, legislative requirements, relevant regulations under the direction of the Manager, and within the financial plans agreed from time-to- time.

My company is committed to providing high quality support services to vulnerable young people and adults in appropriate, safe and affordable accommodation. I contribute to my company’s aims primarily by providing high quality professional care and support to two adults with learning disabilities and autism in a supported living environment.

The team I work with is responsible for providing 24-7 care in my work environment and we report to the Service Manager. The Service Manager is responsible for collaborating on company-wide issues with other Service Managers and they all report to the Head of Care, who in turn reports to the Company Director. My team and I ensure that our clients get the best possible support and are promoted to become more independent.

3.2 Explain the effect of own role on service provision

As a Support Worker, it is my responsibility to ensure that my clients are supported in accordance with their care plans and their own individual needs (in some cases this may mean changing a client’s Care Plan to account for changes in their lives and choices they make).

Day-to-day, this means helping to ensure clients eat properly, keep themselves and their home clean, manage their finances and take their medication. I also help them to plan long-term goals, write support plans and risk assessments, perform weekly drug stock checks and monthly financial checks.

3.3 Describe how own role links to the wider sector

As explained in the previous question, my role as Support Worker means that I help vulnerable individuals manage their day-to-day lives. This means, for example, that I may have to remind them to attend appointments with other professionals such as doctors, nurses, psychologists, dieticians, social workers etc. I may also have to attend appointments and act as an advocate for individuals if they are unable to communicate effectively. It may also be my responsibility to listen to the professional and to assist the individual with setting up a plan to follow the professional’s advice.

3.4 Describe the main roles and responsibilities of representative bodies that influence the wider sector

The wider sector is influenced by numerous representative bodies that have certain responsibilities. Some of these bodies are:

  • Trade unions – an organized association of workers in a trade, group of trades, or profession, formed to protect and further their rights and interests of their members
  • Care Quality Commission – independent regulator of Health & Social Care in England, monitors, inspects and regulates service providers
  • Local Authority – Provides multiple services including Social Services and Benefits
  • ACAS – provides help and advice on preventing and resolving workplace problems
  • NHS – commissioner of primary care services (dentists, GPs, pharmacists etc.)

 

Understand career pathways available within own and related sectors

4.1, 4.2, 4.3 – Explore the different occupations and opportunities in your area of employment identifying the sources of information related to your chosen career pathway. Now identify the next steps in your own career pathway.

As a Support Worker, the most obvious career progression for me is to advance to Senior Support Worker and then Service Manager, where I would be responsible for running a service. Our HR department regularly posts internal vacancies to staff and our Training & Development Manager is always keen to promote personal professional development. Colleagues are also good sources of information about potential career opportunities arising within the company.

Another option would be to leave my current company and work for another organisation in the health and social care sector. Other occupations open to me within the health and social care sector include working in healthcare, primary care and social care. I can find more information about these possibilities by looking at job websites such as indeed.co.uk and looking on the NHS careers page and my local authorities website. I can also find information on the government’s direct.gov website and advice about further studies from local Universities.

I have been a Support Worker for almost three years. The next step in my career progression is to continue building experience in my current role, whilst working towards my Level 3 Diploma in Health & Social Care. I plan to complete this by April 2017. From there, I will seek a senior role internally or externally before Christmas 2017, with a view to being a Service Manager by the end of 2019. Alternatively, after completing my Diploma level 3, I may decide to continue my education and study nursing at university level.

 

Understand how issues of public concern may affect the image and delivery of services in the sector

5.1 Identify occasions where the public have raised concerns regarding issues within the sector

A BBC Panorama investigation televised in 2011 exposed physical and psychological abuse taking place by carers on individuals with learning disabilities at Winterborne View Care Home. This resulted in 86 people and organisations writing to the Prime Minister, David Cameron.

A similar case at The Old Deanery Care Home was televised by BBC Panorama in 2014. In the film, an elderly woman with dementia was seen being slapped by her care staff.

5.2 Outline different viewpoints around an issue of public concern relevant to the sector

In the case on Winterborne View, there were several viewpoints on the issues of abuse. The public in general were outraged and blamed the perpetrators, the organisation running the residential home as well as the regulating bodies for the failings. Some people believed the responsibility for the abuse lay just with the perpetrators, however other people were of the view that the the Care Home Management must also shoulder some of the blame for the failings, especially after it was reported that staff had little experience and were given minimal training following recruitment.Some people believed that the regulating body (the CQC) should also be held accountable for the failings as they did not pick up on this long-running abuse despite being notified by a whistleblower.

5.3 Describe how issues of public concern have altered public views of the sector

Media investigations that have revealed abuse (such as those described above) have led the public to feel let down by the health and social care sector and worried that a vulnerable friend, family member or even themselves could become a victim of abuse.

5.4 Describe recent changes in service delivery which have affected own area of work

My company recently updated the financial forms and procedures so that daily and monthly checks on client monies are more thorough. In addition, the procedure required us to do daily checks to ensure that client bank cards are present. Although this has resulted in more time-consuming checks, it also better protects our client from potential financial abuse.