THE DIRECT CARE STAFF TIME-IN-LIEU (T.I.L.)SAGA
Time-in-lieu is a process which allows staff to take time-off in lieu of payment. Time-in-lieu is also used where staff are, allegedly, not able to take a meal break.
The time-in-lieu process is frequently used in direct care services for people with intellectual and multiple disabilities. The process has the potential to seriously reduce the quality of life care of the very people the service is intended to serve – people needing PCAS and PBS (Quality of Life Care).
Time-in-lieu of payment directly reduces the staff hours at the service point! This generally impacts on the level of developmental, interactive and social care being provided, rather than on basic care. This means that the lifestyle of the residents of supported accommodation group homes (CRUs) isolated in the community becomes more isolated and looking at four walls!
Time-in-lieu of meal breaks can be quite questionable, especially where the point of employment is isolated - like supported accommodation group homes in the community. It is quite easy for staff to claim they had no time for their meal break, and leave early. Again, those who are disadvantaged are those the service is intended to serve, the most vulnerable, the most disadvantaged – people with limited intellectual capacity.
The use of time-in-lieu makes it is very difficult for service management to monitor staff working hours. If a staff member leaves, say two hours early, unnoticed by management, then no excuse is needed! If, however, the action of leaving early comes to the notice of service management, the staff person can say that they are using accumulated time-in-lieu…
“Always keep some T.I.L. up ones sleeve!”