Delivering high-quality social care

Ethical Care Charter


Swansea Council, Salford Council, Bristol City Council, Knowsley Council, Hartlepool Council, Halton Council, Sheffield Council, Swansea Council, Haringey Council

Labour councils believe people have the right to live the life they want to lead, and supporting people with high quality social care is a vital part of this. Social care strengthens communities and reduces pressures on our NHS, but it relies on high quality staff delivering help at home – and they deserve decent working conditions, proper pay, and good training opportunities. With a growing population of older people, and more people living for longer with long-term conditions it is more important than ever that councils offer excellent care.

Signing up to UNISON’s Ethical Care Charter is a simple way for councils to improve homecare for the vulnerable people they are responsible for. It is a set of commitments that councils make which fix minimum standards that will protect the dignity and quality of life for those people and the workers who care for them. The Charter sets out a strategy for councils to improve home-care for vulnerable residents by safeguarding employment conditions that do not routinely short change residents, and ensure the recruitment and retention of a stable workforce through a sustainable pay structure, working conditions and training levels.

Labour Councils have led the way in signing up to the Charter. Thirty-one of the thirty-three English councils that have signed the Charter so far are Labour councils (or were at the time of signing). Since featuring in the previous version of 100 Innovations, even more Labour councils have signed up to the Ethical Care Charter, including Swansea, Salford, Bristol, Knowsley, Hartlepool, Halton, Sheffield, Swansea and Haringey. Both Trafford Labour and Plymouth Labour pledged to sign it as part of their election campaigns in 2018 – and after winning control both are now delivering.

The most likely time for councils to sign up to the Charter is before they renew a contract with a homecare provider, but councils are able to sign up at any point, and implement the changes when they renew their contracts with homecare providers. If Labour councils want to learn more about UNISON’s Ethical Care Charter they can contact

The LGA Labour Group exists to fight the corner for Labour councillors at a national level, both within
the cross-party Local Government Association and with the Labour Party at Westminster. The Group provide a strong voice for Labour councillors and act as a platform for ideas and innovation for all those committed to an effective localist element to Labour politics and policies.

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