Responding to planned changes to the immigration system announced today (Monday), UNISON assistant general secretary Christina McAnea said:
“Social care was in crisis long before the pandemic. Refusing to include care workers in the new NHS visa is a disastrous mistake that will make existing problems spiral.
“The sector is desperately short of staff and heavily reliant on the skills of overseas workers. Recruitment will now become even harder.
“Ministers must get to grips with the massive issues facing social care, which only an urgent overhaul will fix.
“The huge vacancies in care can’t be filled simply by using newly unemployed workers. This shows how little the government understands the scale of the task ahead.
“Low-paid health and care workers also face a massive blow from changes to the health surcharge that will create an unfair two-tier system.
“Those least able to afford to pay will be forced to find the cash upfront and then claim it back.
“Care staff, porters, cleaners and many others who look after us and keep us safe deserve far better.”
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.