Responding to figures released today (Monday) by the Office for National Statistics showing death rates continue to be highest among those who deliver the most hands-on care, UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said:
“It’s shocking to see that care and NHS staff are paying such a tragic price for doing their jobs.
“They can’t look after people without hands-on contact. Keeping the rest of us safe is putting these workers at greater risk.
“The new Covid strain, more infected patients in hospitals and the community, and sheer exhaustion all increase the dangers to workers.
“Every effort should be made to protect staff and to roll out the vaccine swiftly and smoothly.
“The government must also guarantee proper pay for care workers who are ill or have to stay at home.
“Sick or self-isolating care staff and home care workers still feel forced to attend work by shameless employers. This is because they’re being denied full wages.
“This unacceptable situation puts staff at risk and the people they look after. It must end.”
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.