The Statutory Authority for making deductions for travel time to home carers.

The request was refused by Dumfries and Galloway Council.

Dear Dumfries and Galloway Council,

Please provide the statutory authority for the practice of making deductions for travel time to home care workers who have not met their contracted hours.

Yours faithfully,

Susan Murray

Dumfries and Galloway Council

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION (SCOTLAND) ACT 2002

Thank you for your request for information which was received on 07/10/2019 which we are dealing with in terms of the above legislation. We have given your request the unique reference 441546 and we would appreciate it if you could quote this on all correspondence to us.

Under the terms of the legislation, we have an obligation to respond to your request within 20 working days from the day after your request was received. We will therefore aim to respond to your request by 04/11/2019.

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Kind Regards

FOI Unit
Dumfries and Galloway Council

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Dumfries and Galloway Council

Please find below the Council's response to your request 441546 which was received on 07/10/2019.

Details of request: Please provide the statutory authority for the practice of making deductions for travel time to home care workers who have not met their contracted hours.

Response:

The agreement in place is a long standing local agreement that the Trade Unions are aware of and agreed to. Due to the variable nature of Care at Home work there can be some occasions when staff would not meet their contracted hours from contact time alone and therefore it was agreed that up to half of any travel time accrued could be used to be offset against shortfall. It is not an agreement that is easily manageable and is currently being phased out by the service with travel time being included in contracts, an evaluation is currently being done to evidence viability and affordability. This will lead to revised payroll and scheduling processes etc and is a significant piece of work. In the current structure if travel time was not used against those under contract then the service would become very expensive and potentially unaffordable, paying monies for staff to do no work. The revised way of working will make the service more efficient and cost effective. It is worth noting that many private providers offer zero percent contracts to help counteract the variable nature of Care at Home and this is something the council and indeed CASS would not introduce.

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Kind Regards

FOI Unit
Dumfries and Galloway Council

This email, from Dumfries and Galloway Council, and any files transmitted with it, is confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed.

If you are not the intended recipient of this email (and any attachment) please inform the sender by return email and destroy all copies. If you are not the intended recipient or responsible for delivering it to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any use, disclosure, review, dissemination, distribution or reproduction of this email is strictly prohibited. Please be aware that communication by internet email is not secure as messages can be intercepted and read by someone else. Dumfries and Galloway Council do not accept liability for any loss or damage which may result from this email or any files attached. It is your responsibility to scan this email and any attachments for computer viruses or other defects.

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Dear Dumfries and Galloway Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Dumfries and Galloway Council's handling of my FOI request 'The Statutory Authority for making deductions for travel time to home carers.'.

The FOI request asked for the statutory authority governing the deductions from pay of the home care workers. The information you have provided does not provide the statutory authority which is required in order for deductions from pay to be lawful. HMRC have the responsibility of pursuing unlawful deductions from pay and may well advise that Dumfries and Galloway Council have acted unlawfully. Before this is referred to them please confirm the statutory authority for these deductions, or say if you have operated these in the absence such an authority.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/t...

Yours faithfully,

Susan Murray

Dumfries and Galloway Council

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION (SCOTLAND) ACT 2002

Thank you for your request for a formal review which was received on 05/11/2019 and is being dealt with. We will respond within 20 working days from the day after the request was received. A response to your request will be sent promptly, and in any event not later than 03/12/2019.

If you have any queries in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact [email address].

This email, from Dumfries and Galloway Council, and any files transmitted with it, is confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed.

If you are not the intended recipient of this email (and any attachment) please inform the sender by return email and destroy all copies. If you are not the intended recipient or responsible for delivering it to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any use, disclosure, review, dissemination, distribution or reproduction of this email is strictly prohibited. Please be aware that communication by internet email is not secure as messages can be intercepted and read by someone else. Dumfries and Galloway Council do not accept liability for any loss or damage which may result from this email or any files attached. It is your responsibility to scan this email and any attachments for computer viruses or other defects.

Any email including its content may be monitored and used by the Council for reasons of security and form monitoring internal compliance with the policy on staff use. Email monitoring or blocking software may also be used.

Any email message sent or received by the Council may require to be disclosed by the Council under the provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. For further information and to view the Council’s privacy statement please go to https://www.dumgal.gov.uk/privacy

FOI Responses, Dumfries and Galloway Council

PUBLIC

Review Decision

Details of request: I am writing to request an internal review of Dumfries and Galloway Council's handling of my FOI request 'The Statutory Authority for making deductions for travel time to home carers.'.

The FOI request asked for the statutory authority governing the deductions from pay of the home care workers. The information you have provided does not provide the statutory authority which is required in order for deductions from pay to be lawful. HMRC have the responsibility of pursuing unlawful deductions from pay and may well advise that Dumfries and Galloway Council have acted unlawfully. Before this is referred to them please confirm the statutory authority for these deductions, or say if you have operated these in the absence such an authority.

Response:

Thank you for your email of 5 November 2019 requesting a review.

As previously stated, the agreement in place is a long standing local agreement that the Trade Unions are aware of and agreed to.

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of the review, you have the right to apply to the Scottish Information Commissioner for a decision. Appeals to the Commissioner can be made at www.itspublicknowledge.info/YourRights/U...

or in writing to: The Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner, Kinburn Castle, Doubledykes Road, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9DS Telephone: 01334 464 610.

If you are unhappy with a decision by the Scottish Information Commissioner, you may be able to take the matter to the courts or complain to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman.
Kind Regards

FOI Unit
Dumfries and Galloway Council

PUBLIC

This email, from Dumfries and Galloway Council, and any files transmitted with it, is confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed.

If you are not the intended recipient of this email (and any attachment) please inform the sender by return email and destroy all copies. If you are not the intended recipient or responsible for delivering it to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any use, disclosure, review, dissemination, distribution or reproduction of this email is strictly prohibited. Please be aware that communication by internet email is not secure as messages can be intercepted and read by someone else. Dumfries and Galloway Council do not accept liability for any loss or damage which may result from this email or any files attached. It is your responsibility to scan this email and any attachments for computer viruses or other defects.

Any email including its content may be monitored and used by the Council for reasons of security and form monitoring internal compliance with the policy on staff use. Email monitoring or blocking software may also be used.

Any email message sent or received by the Council may require to be disclosed by the Council under the provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. For further information and to view the Council’s privacy statement please go to https://www.dumgal.gov.uk/privacy

Dear FOI Responses,

I refer to your reply of 3 December 2019.

So, you have refused to comply with the FOI Act and declined to provide the statutory authority for the deductions you have made from the pay of home carers. I presume this is because there is no such legal right to deduct these monies and the council has acted unlawfully in these actions. This appears to be a criminal act on the council's part. It is theft.

Rather than deal with this honestly, you refuse to provide information that would incriminate the council. I hope your legal team is aware of your conduct and that there is a claim against the council in respect of this.

It is clear there is no point in making a referral to the Scottish ICO. It is better to refer this to HMRC who deal with shabby employers such as DGC.

Yours sincerely,

Susan Murray