Care workers have little or no protection says GMB

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Care workers during a stike agaonst cuts to pay and conditions – now many are working with little or no Personal Protection Equipment

HORRIFYINGLY, care workers have been told if they test positive they will have to self-isolate at the care home and will not be able to leave, says GMB union.

Vital care workers are being left with no protection against coronavirus, no childcare and poverty sick pay if they become infected.
Thousands of key workers looking after the most vulnerable in society are having to work with little or no Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) – knowing if they become ill they will still have to come into work or face survival on £94 a week, or even no pay at all.
In some horrifying examples, care workers have been told if they test positive they will have to self-isolate at the care home and will not be able to leave.
Meanwhile, because of the unsociable hours carers work, many are left without any childcare outside school hours.
GMB has five key demands to keep the UK’s care system from collapse:

  • Full pay for all social care workers in self-isolation or sick due to COVID-19 and for the government to underwrite any employers who can’t afford it
  • Paid time off to care for children when there is no other option available
  • Priority PPE, gloves, masks, and sanitiser making sure that our members are protected while they protect our loved ones
  • Priority testing for all social care workers
  • Safe staffing levels to allow for all staff to provide safe care and to have adequate breaks to avoid burnout.

Kelly Andrews, GMB Care Lead, said: ‘Our care system is in danger of total collapse during the coronavirus crisis.
‘Our carers are distraught that they have to work with little or no PPE and, horrifyingly, are being told that if a resident tests positive then they cannot return home.
‘Despite being on the frontline, and utterly vital to stop our society from crumbling, they are on minimum wage, with unpaid breaks and are unable to rely on schools for childcare.
‘And to rub salt in the wound, if they become ill they either have to try and support their families on poverty sick pay – or turn up to work ill which could be a death sentence for residents.
‘GMB is demanding full pay for all staff during this outbreak to allow peace of mind to those vital staff that care for everyone else before themselves.’