CARE HOME WORKERS WILL BE PUSHED INTO POVERTY BY BANNING MOVEMENT BETWEEN CARE HOMES

Banning the movement of care workers between care homes: a call to action from The Care Workers’ Charity and Industry leaders to stop the governments proposed policy that will push care home workers into avoidable poverty.

There are 1.6 million care workers in England[1] who look after the most vulnerable members of our society. Care workers have shown their resilience as they cope with the on-going effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Yet, the proposed policy overtly singles-out care home staff who deliver direct care. Healthcare professionals, Registered Managers and CQC inspectors (to name a few) are exempt.

Care workers work in multiple care settings, often to make ends meet. With 75% of care workers being paid less than the Real Living Wage, they have little choice but to take on more than one role; with IPPR research noting that “many…have to take second and third jobs to make ends meet”[2]. The Care Workers’ Charity sees first-hand the hardship that many care workers are facing. This year the charity has supported 3023 care workers; this is the tip of the iceberg as there are thousands of others struggling on without support.

Banning the movement of care home workers targets individuals who have little power of influence caused by zero-hours contracts and a low income[3]. We believe the enforcement of this policy will mean affected care home workers stand to lose a substantial portion of their income.

Care home residents will be impacted by this policy too. A departure of care home staff will leave residents without quality care[4]. Residents have persevered during the pandemic and a departure of care staff who have remained constant in their lives will be of detriment to their health and wellbeing. Faced with worsening in-work poverty, care home staff will choose to leave the social care sector. With current vacancies of 112,000, expected to rise to 520,000 by 2035[5], an exodus of care workers will be disastrous especially with an ageing population rising to 14.1 million by 2035[6].

This proposal is short-sighted and self-defeating. Valued care home workers will be prompted to leave jobs, in favour of financial stability and job security. Care providers will subsequently be reliant on agency staff to combat unsafe staffing levels which will inhibit the care of residents and threaten the closure of care homes.

The Government suggests the Infection Control Fund (ICF) will cover the costs of this policy. The ICF has faced criticism for being bureaucratic and difficult for care providers to receive essential funds[7]. Concerns have been voiced that the ICF already does not do enough to support social care. We, therefore, are unconvinced that care home workers will receive satisfactory support for the inconvenience caused.
The Care Workers’ Charity is aware that some care workers are not receiving top-up payments from the ICF, care home managers and local authorities have informed us they are having to spend the limited funds elsewhere. The Care Workers’ Charity has already received demands for support from affected care home workers and we expect this to rise further.

This proposed policy is the result of chronic underfunding and neglect of the social care sector by successive governments. The care workers who were lauded just a few months ago are the same care workers who will suffer at the hands of this policy. At this moment, we call for the Government to bring together the social care sector as opposed to furthering fragmentation.

Care workers are not expendable and cannot be taken for granted any longer, they deserve respect and recognition for their hard work.

 

This statement has been signed by a group of industry leaders brought together by The Care Workers’ Charity:

Abhishek Agrawal, Director EarlyPay – Access Group

Alex Ramamurthy, Chief Executive – Mirthy

Amanda Marques, Director – Cohesion Recruitment

Amanda Nurse, Managing Director – Carterwood

Amanda Shons, Business Owner, Consultant – Finders Keepers Recruitment

Andrew Winstanley, Chief Executive – Berkley Care Group

Andy Taylor Group Finance Director – Abbey Healthcare

Andrea Redfern, Employee Engagement and Wellbeing Advisor – Cornwall Care

Anna Kear, CEO – Tonic Living

Ben Allen, CEO – Oomph! Wellness

Ben Redhead, Director – Well Springs Nursing Home

Bhavna Keane-Rao, Managing Director – BKR Care Consultancy

Bruce Adams, Head of Sales Europe – Altura Learning

Charles Armitage, Co-Founder and CEO, Florence

Christoph Marr, Managing Director- Marr Procurement Ltd

Claire Henry MBE, Director – The Loss Project

Dr Hannah Barham-Brown, Deputy Leader – Women’s Equality Party

Emma Everett, Senior Consultant Director – Bright Selection

Hayden Knight, CEO – Orchard Care Homes

Helen Davies-Parsons, CEO – Dormy Care Communities

Julienne Meyer CBE,PhD, Professor Emeritus of Nursing – University of London Karen Hedger, Director – Bright Selection

Karolina Gerlich, Executive Director- The Care Workers’ Charity

Leah Marsh, Managing Director – Swallowcourt Limited

Lisa Delaney, Sales Manager National Accounts – Apetito

Professor Lydia Hayes, Head of Kent Law School

Lynda Tickell, Head of Quality & Compliance – Athena Care Homes

Mala Agarwal, Managing Director – Athena Care Homes

Mandu Reid, Leader – Women’s Equality Party

Mark Adams, CEO – Community Integrated Care

Mark Topps, Registered Manager – Eastern County Care

Mark Ward, Chief Executive Officer – Borough Care

Martin D’Mello, Group Director Care & Support – One Housing

Morten Mathiesen, Chief Marketing Officer – Sekoia

Raina Summerson, Group CEO – Agincare

Ravi Bains, Founder & CEO – Five Rivers Care Group

Rebecca Manson Jones, Equal Health Spokesperson – Women’s Equality Party

Rishi Dhamecha, Director- Only Care Ltd

Sam Jacob Managing Director – Dovehaven Care Homes

Sophie Chester-Glyn, Director- Coproduce Care CIC

Sophie Coulthard, Principal Consultant – Judgement Index

Tony Thiru, Fulcrum Care

Valerie Michie, Chief Executive – Choice Care

Vernon Baxter, Managing Director – Investor Publishing

Vic Rayner, Executive Director – National Care Forum

[1] Skills for Care. The Size and Structure of the Adult Social Care Sector and Workforce in England. 2020.

[2] Institute for Public Policy Research. Fair Care: A Workforce Strategy for Social Care. November 2018.

[3] Fair Work in Scotland’s Social Care Sector 2019. Fair Work Convention. 2019.

[4] UK Parliament. House of Commons Library. The Health and Social Care Workforce Gap. 10 January 2020.

[5] Skills for Care. The Size and Structure of the Adult Social Care Sector and Workforce in England. 2020.

[6] Skills for Care. The Size and Structure of the Adult Social Care Sector and Workforce in England. 2020.

[7] Open Letter to DHSC from Adult Social Services [ADASS]. May 2020.