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Pay care workers £15 per hour or face unsafe staffing

22 Jul 2021
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GMB union is calling on the Government to pay workers for the job they do, or risk thousands walking away from the sector or refusing vaccine jabs 

GMB, the union for care workers, has hit out at the Government’s imposition of mandatory vaccinations for care home workers in England. 

The government estimates as many as 70,000 staff could lose their job in November at the end of the 16 week grace period for not taking vaccine. 

GMB has previously told the Department for Health and Social Care up to a third of workers in social care would consider quitting as a result of the legislation being brought in.

This week the union also called on Ministers to ensure the workforce is a priority in any new additional public investment in social care.

They claim introducing mandatory vaccinations will drive up vaccine resistance and cause more recruitment issues in a sector which is already struggling.  

The union believes the best way to ensure safe staffing in our care homes and high workforce uptake of the vaccine is by paying our social care workers for the job they do - £15 per hour no less - and giving them proper terms and conditions. 

Kelly Andrews, GMB National Care Lead, said: 

“Social care workers have gone above and beyond throughout the Covid pandemic, making incredible sacrifices.  

“For the Government to turn round and tell staff that after all they’ve done, they need to get jabbed or else they’ll be chucked out of work just before Christmas, will just be the last straw for many. 

“Instead of supporting the workforce to get vaccinated and tackling the underlying issues, the Government is going to blunder on, driving people out of sector and putting care home residents at risk through unsafe staffing as workers leave. 

“We’ve said all along the best way of tackling vaccine hesitancy within the workforce is by properly valuing and paying the workers a salary that better reflects the valuable work they do. 

“£15 per hour no less.” 

 
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