Taking Worker Productivity to a New Level? Electronic Monitoring in Homecare—The (Re)Production of Unpaid Labour

14 Pages Posted: 27 Jul 2017

See all articles by Sian Moore

Sian Moore

University of Greenwich

L.J.B Hayes

Cardiff University

Date Written: July 2017

Abstract

This article explores the use of Electronic Monitoring (EM) in homecare and its impact on the ratio of paid to unpaid working time. It argues that whilst Zero Hours Contracts (ZHCs) blur the distinction between paid and unpaid labour, the introduction of EM can formalise and regulate the demarcation between the two. In the context of local authority commissioning and constrained budgets, the combination of EM and ZHC's may excise so‐called 'unproductive' but available labour from homecare. In particular, the minute‐by‐minute commissioning of care that EM facilitates means the cost of homecare is anchored in the time that worker's spend in client's houses, squeezing out paid travel, time between visits, training and supervision. Paid working time is minimised whilst maximising the use of unpaid time with resulting intensification of care labour.

Keywords: care, surveillance, working time, Zero Hours, Electronic Monitoring, procurement, unpaid labour

Suggested Citation

Moore, Sian and Hayes, Lydia, Taking Worker Productivity to a New Level? Electronic Monitoring in Homecare—The (Re)Production of Unpaid Labour (July 2017). New Technology, Work and Employment, Vol. 32, Issue 2, pp. 101-114, 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3008927 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ntwe.12087

Sian Moore (Contact Author)

University of Greenwich ( email )

30 Park Row
Greenwich
London, SE10 9LS
United Kingdom

Lydia Hayes

Cardiff University ( email )

Law Building
Museum Avenue
Cardiff, Wales CF10 3AX
United Kingdom

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