A UNION branch has launched a new campaign to highlight bad pay and working conditions in the care industry.

The Unite community branch in Clacton said carers in the town are being paid minimum wage while be asked to work extra time for no pay.

Rick Grogan, chairman of the branch, despite charging residents £600 a week for care, little goes to provide staff with “proper” pay.

He added: “Tendring has one of the largest elderly populations in the UK with one of the largest network of carers.

“Being a care worker is one of the most important jobs in our society, yet it is one of the most undervalued.

“Care workers have told us that they are on minimum wage and are often expected to work additional hours at the beginning and end of shifts with no extra pay.

“They said they are given three days training before they start the job and this too is unpaid.

“Care homes charge residents an average on £600 per week in this area, but very little of this profit goes to provide staff with proper pay and working conditions.

“Unite community has been told that most of the staff would be too worried about losing their jobs to join a union.

“We will be looking at ways we can work with Essex County Council to try and ensure a proper code of conduct is adopted for the homes that they are funding.”

“Residents in these home deserve the best of care and their carers deserve the best of working conditions.”