Infection rates will rise and care workers will abandon sector as financial lifeline ends

Abandoning infection control fund will stop people isolating

Responding to the government’s announcement of the withdrawal of the infection control fund from Monday (4 April), UNISON head of social care Gavin Edwards said today (Thursday):

“Scrapping the financial support for sick pay in care, just as the devastating cost-of-living crisis intensifies and Covid rates rise, is negligent and morally wrong.

“Care workers will be shocked and dismayed by the government’s decision. For such a vital financial lifeline to be cut for low-paid staff trying to protect vulnerable people is beyond belief.

“With care job vacancies already eye-wateringly high, the government should be encouraging and rewarding staff for doing the right thing by isolating, not making it impossible for them to put food on the table. Workers are already turning to food banks as budgets are stretched to breaking point.

“Ministers must immediately reinstate the infection control fund and make it mandatory for care employers to pay proper sick pay. Anything less will drive more staff out of the sector and put lives and livelihoods at risk.”

Notes to editors:
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union, with more than 1.3 million members providing public services in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.