Supercarers, and similar sites, aspire to become the Uber of care. The model connects freelance care workers in their area to people who need care. The attraction of these sites is that they enable care workers to earn a proper wage drawing a higher calibre of care worker into the market. So, what's not to like? Well, a bit like an Uber taxi driver, the care worker is unregulated. They come with no guarantees that they have the right skills, training or temperament.
Should this put us off? Or trigger an avalanche of regulation? Despite the risks, I would say 'no', at least in until the model has gotten a foothold. CQC regulation or forcing care workers to become employees would very quickly recreate the low wage high cost industry that has generated all sorts of different risks.
Before regulation is even considered, it should be clear that the benefits of a better paid independent workforce are not a sufficient counterweight to the risks of paying the minimum wage.
Will these models be for everyone? Probably not. Many people need teams of care workers who work together as a unit, easily recruited and managed by an agency. Many people want someone else to deal with no-shows and the supervision. SuperCarer models, for many, will be too much risk and hassle.
Personally, I am delighted that Supercarers and their ilk are here. It will challenge the industry. Yes, there are things to sort out. The next step is to use the technical innovation of these platform models to ensure that people can easily check the skills and backgrounds of care workers. Some sites use TripAdvisor type ratings. But overall, a big welcome to Supercarers and all the ‘Ubercare’ style sites.Back to stepping out now