CARE WORKERS VS COVID-19
Coronavirus poses a serious threat to all of us. We know that Care Workers, are at the forefront of the struggle against the
virus. You put yourselves at risk to provide direct care and support to high risk groups including the over-70s and people with
underlying health conditions.
UNISON fully recognises that over the coming weeks and months, you will go above and beyond to protect your families, loved ones and the residents you care for to prevent the spread of disease and protect our wider communities.
The Government have made some commitments, but they do not adequately address concerns about resources and support getting to frontline staff providing care. We know that many of you are on low wages, cannot get access to statutory sick pay, and some
social care companies are ignoring the Government’s advice to pay staff if they have to self isolate, which could put lives at risk.
UNISON believes that more far-reaching intervention and enforcement is required to protect our workforce and allow you 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 you become ill.
At the frontline only you can provide a clear picture as to what’s happening locally. Please take time to tell us by completing our local questionnaire. You can give your name or remain anonymous, but please tell us where you work so we can ask for
changes or help your employer to protect you. Please share this with your colleagues, members and non-members.
SUPPORT US TO STOP THE SPREAD
UNISON is continuing to call 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 your employers, local councils and other commissioners of social care to:
- Protect Your 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
- Protect Your 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 Your Employment– Ensure not one person 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 Your Families– Carers leave on full-pay for workers caring for a dependent who has COVID-19 or for whom childcare is unavailable.
The Branch wants to find out what is happening in your workplace and what actions we can take to help you. Please use the link below to complete a confidential survey to enable us to try and make things better.