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Living wage protest at Bexleyheath care home

PUBLISHED: 15:55 24 May 2016 | UPDATED: 16:28 24 May 2016

Protesters outside Adelaide Care Home in Bexleyheath

Protesters outside Adelaide Care Home in Bexleyheath

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The GMB staged a protest over a failure to backdate the living wage

A protest was held at a Bexleyheath care home today (May 24) over the owner’s failure to backdate the living wage for workers.

According to the GMB union, Avery Healthcare informed workers that, due to their payroll system, they would not implement the new national living wage until April 18 and are refusing to backdate the pay from April 1, when the living wage was implemented.

The GMB staged a protest from 1.45pm to 2.45pm at Adelaide Care Home, West Street, in response to the organisation’s stance.

Nadine Houghton, GMB regional officer, said: “Pay practices have been a long-running problem at Avery Healthcare. By refusing to pay workers the amount that’s required by law, Avery have tried to pull the wool over their employees’ eyes and GMB members will not stand for it.

“This protest is an opportunity for GMB members to send a message that they will not stand for this kind of treatment in the workplace.

“The service that carers provide is invaluable to those who need support the most. In return, they deserve a proper wage and to be treated fairly by their employer.”

Avery Healthcare has released a statement saying that it is “concerned at the confusion and distress that is being caused within its staff group based upon inaccurate statements from the union GMB about pay, and the false expectations that are subsequently being created”.

“For the avoidance of doubt Avery would direct those seeking clarification on the National Living Wage to the Acas website (www.acas.org.uk/nmw), where it states the following.

‘The National Living wage was introduced for working people age 25 and over on the 1 April 2016, however it only affects someone’s pay from the first full pay reference period after that date. If the Pay Reference Period starts on the 19 March - 19 April, the pay between the 1 April - 18 April will be based on the NMW rates. The allocated pay from the 19 April - 19 May would be at the new NLW rate because this is the first full pay reference period after the 1 April.’

“This situation should also in no way be confused with a separate and unfounded previous claim that pay practices at Avery have been discriminatory. Pay practices at Avery have always been clear, equitable, and without any form of discrimination.

“Again, for the avoidance of doubt, it should be noted that different roles within care homes carrying different responsibilities and requiring different qualifications and experience will attract the relevant market driven rates of pay; there will also be regional differences in pay rates throughout England as with any other sector and influence from the supply:demand balance within the local labour pool.”

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