Care Workers vs COVID-19
Coronavirus poses a serious threat to all of us. As care workers, we are at the forefront of the struggle against the virus. We put ourselves at risk to provide direct care and support to high risk groups including the over-70s and people with underlying health conditions.
Over the coming weeks and months, we will go above and beyond to protect your families and loved ones. We need all necessary support, training, equipment and resources to allow us to give critical care, prevent the spread of disease and protect our communities.
The Government have made some commitments, but they do not adequately address concerns about resources and support getting to frontline staff and public services. Many of us on low wages cannot get access to statutory sick pay, and some private social care companies are ignoring the Government’s advice to pay staff if they have to self isolate, which could put lives at risk.
More far-reaching intervention and enforcement is required to protect the workforce and allow us to deliver vital care. It is absolutely essential that care workers have necessary equipment to protect patients and are able to self-isolate or take time off work if we become ill. The threat of losing pay means that many of us may have to choose between feeding our children, defaulting on rent payments or attending work whilst ill.
Support us to Stop the Spread
As care workers, we are calling for urgent action now to protect vital care workers, the elderly and those most at risk to the spread of COVID-19. That's why we are calling on our employers, local councils and other commissioners of social care to:
Protect Our Health – Priority testing for care workers to limit the spread of disease to vulnerable patients and service users. Guarantee all essential training and personal protection equipment (PPE) to all frontline workers (e.g. goggles, masks, hand sanitisers, thermometers) in line with Public Health England guidance.
Protect Our Pay – Full normal pay for all those required by government guidance to self-isolate or who become ill because of COVID-19, in order to prevent unnecessary spread of infection. This includes all staff on zero-hour contracts, bank/relief contracts or multiple contracts.
Protect Our Employment – Ensure no-one is dismissed or laid-off for staying at home to care for themselves or their family. Absence due to COVID-19 should be excluded from absence management triggers.
- Protect Our Families – Carers leave on full-pay for workers caring for a dependent who has COVID-19 or for whom childcare is unavailable.
The demands above are based on necessary and deliverable local actions. All demands should apply to contractors, sub-contractors and providers. Where agreement cannot be reached in this regard, or where contractors do not implement minimum standards, then commissioners should be pressurised to move rapidly towards bringing service provision in-house.
Join Our Campaign!
Join Our Facebook Group - If you are a social care worker based in North West England, please join our Facebook group and and connect with care workers across the North West who are winning improvements on sick pay, PPE and more!
Join UNISON- we're stronger together and through forming workplace unions we can ensure that we have all the resources we need to stop the spread.
Support care workers to stop the spread by signing our petition.
- Show your support by printing our campaign pledge card taking a picture to share on social media. Tag us into your post. Care worker pledge card is here, council pledge card is here, supportive organisation pledge card is here and supportive (non-care worker) individual pledge card is here.
- Keep up to date with the campaign on Facebook and Twitter. Invite your colleagues/friends/family to like and follow our pages.