- 3 updates
Would Councils be able to afford giving Foster parents employment rights? Sarah Anderson is taking her battle to court.
They dedicate their lives to looking after children - often in very challenging circumstances. Being a foster carer is a 24 hour job, but despite this carers have no workers' rights.
According to a survey - carried out by the Fostering Network - more than 50 per cent of foster carers felt their allowance did not cover the full cost of looking after fostered children.
Watch the debate here.
Carer Sarah Anderson and the Independent Workers' Union of Great Britain (IWGB) argue that people who foster children should be entitled to holiday pay, among other rights.
If successful the case could open the doors for thousands of foster care workers in the UK to have employment rights recognised.
The IWGB will today submit an employment status and unpaid holiday claim against Hampshire County Council. The union will argue that as a result of the relationship between Anderson and the council, she should be considered a worker and entitled to rights, including holiday pay.
Foster care workers in the UK, while they are paid by local councils, agencies or charities to look after children, are not recognised as workers nor employees.
But the IWGB has started to challenge the traditional employment status of carers. In June, in a case brought by the IWGB in Scotland, a Glasgow employment tribunal recognised two foster carer workers as employees under Scottish law
While in a previous case the Court of Appeal ruled that foster care workers could not be recognised as workers, as they do not have contracts, the IWGB will argue that this case is different on the facts and that under European law contracts are not necessary to establish an employment relationship.