Care sector still wary over holiday reforms

Charities in the care sector have welcomed the Government's decision to delay the implementation of changes to holiday entitlement regulations, but warned that the reforms could still push up contract costs.

Last week, Jim Fitzpatrick, the employment relations minister, announced that plans to guarantee all employees 28 days off a year, including bank holidays, would be phased in by April 2009, six months later than had originally been scheduled. The delay was due to pressure from health and social care providers.

Des Kelly, executive director of the umbrella body the National Care Forum, said social care employers supported better conditions for staff but the Government must recognise the cost implications of the reforms.

Martin Green, chief executive of the English Community Care Association, the largest representative body for community care in England, welcomed the delay but said the plans placed significant burdens on the care sector.

"It is all too easy for politicians to heap more burdens on to the sector, but they must act responsibly and ensure that the reforms are properly funded," said Green.

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