Migrant family ban makes no sense without proper reform of social care, says UNISON

The ban means overseas care staff will be much less likely to come to work in the UK. But migrant workers are still very much needed

Commenting on the announcement from care minister Helen Whately that migrant care staff coming to the UK will be banned from bringing family with them after mid-March, UNISON head of social Gavin Edwards said:

“Care companies couldn’t function without migrant care workers. Firms have to recruit from overseas because the government’s done nothing to solve the care staffing crisis.

“Ministers’ reckless changes to immigration policy spell disaster for social care. Until pay rates rise substantially, there’ll never be enough UK-based recruits to plug the huge hole in the care workforce. 

“New career paths and qualifications might sound impressive, but they won’t change a thing unless the minimum wage stops being the norm in care.

“The ban on families means overseas care staff will be much less likely to come to work in the UK. The few that do will be more isolated and at even greater risk of exploitation.

“But migrant workers are still very much needed. Ministers know this, yet don’t seem to care.

“A national care service, with a new fair pay agreement, and a real commitment to turn the sector around is what’s needed to give everyone in need of care the best support possible.”

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.

Media contacts:
Liz Chinchen M: 07778 158175 E: l.chinchen@unison.co.uk
Dan Ashley M: 07908 672893 E: d.ashley@unison.co.uk