As you will remember, Kit became an ambassador for Mencap last year which helps support his cousin Laurent due to his learning disabilities. The charity has launched a new campaign which you can find out more about by watching the interviews Kit has done with Channel 4 and the BBC here in the UK. Those can be found here and here due to them not having an embed code. Please watch the video I’ve added below of Kit explaining why the need to back this campaign is so important and by reading an excerpt from his BBC interview below the cut. More information about #StopSleepInCrisis can be found here on the Mencap charity website
Game of Thrones actor Kit Harington has called on the government to fund six years’ back pay for overnight carers.
While on night shifts, most employees providing care in people’s own homes or accommodation run by Mencap and other organisations are allowed to sleep, providing they can be woken to deal with any incidents. According to minimum wage legislation, employers must take into account shifts where staff are allowed to sleep as long as they are “at work and under certain work-related responsibilities”. Until recently, many overnight care workers were paid a flat rate allowance for the “sleep-in”, about £30. But in April, following an employment tribunal appeal ruling, all workers were granted a minimum of £7.50 per hour for the whole shift.
Last week, the government announced a temporary suspension to enforcement action by HMRC until October, but many charities say they will not be able to cover the bill for back pay.
Harington, who plays Jon Snow in the television series, said: “If this legislation goes ahead and the back pay bill lands squarely at the charities’ and providers’ feet and they have to pay it, many people like Laurent are not going to have that 24-7 care. This bill cannot be paid by the charities. For me, it’s as simple as this can’t be allowed to stand. Laurent loves swimming, he loves Zumba, he loves dancing, and he loves going to the disco. He needs to live the life he loves living. When my aunt can’t care for him the way she has, we will need to find that for him, and my worry is that the way things are going, it’s going to be harder and harder for Laurent to find what he needs. Basically, I think the government needs to pay it. The bill needs to be footed, and it needs to be footed by the government. This issue is of the greatest importance, I think, not just for me but for our society that we live in. Our duty for society is to care for the most vulnerable in our society. If this bill is having to be paid by the charities that cannot pay it, the most vulnerable in our society are going to be left without care. That’s not a society I believe in or want to live in, so it’s of the greatest importance, and it’s urgent.”