GMB pressure forces Home Office U-turn on migrant indefinite leave

20 May 2020
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It doesn’t matter where you were born – if you fight on the frontline you deserve the same support says GMB Union 

The grieving families of NHS cleaners and carers will be granted indefinite leave to remain after GMB pressure forced a Home Office U-turn.

Priti Patel had originally excluded the families of many frontline health workers – such as cleaners and carers - from the same support scheme as NHS workers such as nurses and radiographers.  

Key workers - who face the same danger throughout the Covid-19 crisis - were devastated to learn their families wouldn’t be supported if they died during service.

After intense GMB pressure the Home Office today said:

‘The Home Office is extending the offer of indefinite leave to remain, free of charge, to the families and dependants of NHS support staff and social care workers who die as result of contracting coronavirus. The offer of indefinite leave to remain will be effective immediately and retrospectively.’ 

Lola McEvoy, GMB Organiser, said: 

“It doesn’t matter where you were born – if you fight on the frontline you deserve the same support. 

“It doesn’t bear thinking about what key workers families who’ve lost their loved ones have been going through, but when you add in the extra insecurity of not knowing if you’ll be deported, it’s unacceptable.  

“It’s great that GMB pressure has forced the Home Office to back track on this.

"But as with everything the devil is in the detail and we urge the Home Secretary to mirror the free auto-extension of work visa scheme as well as the free indefinite leave to remain for grieving families to all those staff eligible for Matt Hancock’s Life Assurance payments; that is – all key workers who are in front-line healthcare roles.  

“Not only is it the right thing to do, it’s also an acceptance that regardless who you work for, where you were born or how much you’re paid – if you have fought front-line during this pandemic – you and your family will be supported and treated the same.”

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