Care worker climb down over families shows government in chaos, says UNISON

Ministers could have spared overseas staff weeks of worry

Following a government clarification that care workers already in the UK will not be forced to send dependants home when they renew their visas or change sponsors, UNISON head of social care Gavin Edwards said today (Friday):

“This partial climb down on visa rules will bring some relief to migrant care workers already here with families.

“But ministers should have been clear from the start. Overseas care staff could have been spared weeks of worry.

“The muddled and chaotic approach points to panic at the heart of government. It remains the case that ministers’ reckless changes to immigration policy spell disaster for social care.

“Migrant care workers are now more likely to shun the UK in favour of parts of the world where their skills and families will be more welcome.

“That isn’t good for a social care system that’s become reliant upon their support. Ministers should now row back completely and still allow care workers to bring dependants here.

“It’s also high time the government did what it’s long promised. Fix the care sector. That means boosting wages significantly above the minimum wage. Only when care jobs are paid at decent rates will the damaging staffing crisis end.”

Notes to editors:– UNISON and the National Care Forum sent a letter to health and social care secretary Victoria Atkins this week urging her to scrap new visa rules aimed at migrant care workers.– 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:
Sophie Goodchild M: 07767 325595 E: