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Carers: Working Hours

Volume 478: debated on Thursday 26 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance he has issued on the application of the Working Time Directive to carers on sleeping duty; what estimate he has made of the number of care packages affected by the application of the Directive; and if he will make a statement. (213326)

The Department has not issued guidance about how the European Working Time Directive (EWTD) impacts on carers. Most carers are volunteers and are not covered by the EWTD.

Carers employed on sleeping duty are covered by the employment legislation including the EWTD. The Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) provide relevant guidance that can be accessed via their website at:

The Government have provided significant investment in local services, including social care. Allocations to local authorities (LAs) have increased by 39 per cent. in real terms since 1997. The detail of contracting arrangements between LAs and independent sector providers of care is a matter for local decision. We expect LAs to take into account a range of provider costs such as implementing the EWTD.