CARE workers in Lancashire and across the North West have come together to campaign for proper holiday pay.

The workers at Lifeways, a company that operates care homes in Darwen and Chorley, say that they have been routinely underpaid when they take holidays and as a result have been losing hundreds of pounds a year.

In response they have now worked with public sector union UNISON to lodge a complaint against the company including an open letter which has now also been signed by over 70 politicians including Lancashire County Council Labour group leader Councillor Azhar Ali.

He said: “It beggars belief that care workers in our county have been let down by their Government, their employer and their council after putting their lives on the line during the pandemic."

He added: “What a disgraceful way to treat those we applauded on our doorsteps just a few months ago."

According to UK employment law annual leave should be based on normal pay received, including additional payments for sleep-in and overtime, rather than just basic pay.

Because they have not received this, Lifeways care workers believe they have lost out.

They have also pointed out that a well-paid and motivated care sector is essentially to the nation’s attempts to cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

Politicians to support the carers claims also include North West MPs Paula Barker, Kim Johnson, Navendu Mishra and Andrew Gwynne.

The care workers hope to resolve the dispute amicably with the company but their representatives have said that preparations are now underway to pursue legal action.

A spokesperson for Lifeways said: “We are aware of the collective grievance and are working with UNISON and ACAS in order to find an amicable solution,

"We are clear that we are now fully compliant with all legislation and regulation concerning holiday pay.”

For the full open letter, go to: