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Forcing Carers Round NHS Wales Test, Trace Protect ‘Not The Answer’, Says GMB Union

GMB, the union for carers has warned that decision to exempt double-vaccinated care workers in Wales that have been contacted by NHS test and trace, isn’t the answer to the Social care staffing crisis

The Welsh Government has today announced plans to exempt social care workers from isolating from having to self-isolate when notified by the NHS ‘test, trace, protect’ app. [1]

The move comes after reports that local authorities are struggling to continue to cover calls, with family members being asked to help out. [2]

GMB believes that the only way to solve the staffing crisis in the care sector is for employers and the government to ‘properly recognise’ the work that carers do.

They have renewed calls for better employment rights and a minimum wage of £15 an hour to honour the hard work of Welsh carers after a crisis that highlighted the essential work they do. [3]

Kelly Andrews, GMB social care lead said:

“This is no surprise, but the worst way of handling it.

“With a career path of low wages, no sick pay and companies like HC-One threatening staff in Wales with the sack if they choose not to be or cannot be vaccinated, it’s no wonder people are walking away from Social care.

“For the past 18 months care staff have been working incredibly hard to protect those that they care for, but again it’s the Social care staff that are expected to forge their own safety to turn up and prevent the sector from collapse.

“The only way to solve the shortage is to properly recognise the exemplary effort that care staff in Wales make; that’s why GMB is campaigning to pay all care staff £15 an hour and not just living wage”.


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