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Call for emergency visas to tackle ‘self-inflicted’ care staff crisis

November 12, 2021 11:40 AM

The Liberal Democrats are calling for emergency changes to the immigration rules to make care workers eligible for visas, as the Government's vaccine mandate comes into force, threatening to add to the 105,000 vacancies in social care.

60,000 social care workers could lose their jobs according to data from the National Care Forum and the Department of Health and Social Care. UNISON and the National Care Forum have warned that the "recruitment and retention emergency" has been caused by "low wages, staff burnout, and mandatory vaccination".

Under the Conservatives' new immigration rules, which came into effect in January, most frontline care roles are not eligible for skilled worker visas, leaving no route for employers to recruit care staff from abroad. The Liberal Democrats are calling for that rule to be scrapped, along with the arbitrary salary threshold that limits work visas to jobs paying more than £25,600 a year.

Daisy Cooper MP, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Health, Wellbeing and Social Care, said:

"The Conservative government's failure to listen to warnings on low wages, staff burnout, and mandatory vaccination have created a self-inflicted care worker crisis.

"Liberal Democrats are calling for emergency care visas so families are not left high and dry looking after their loved ones as care homes close down due to a lack of staff."

Social care (Georg Arthur Pflueger @knurpselknie)