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Care workers fear many colleagues will quit

April 24, 2020

Four in five of care workers expect colleagues to quit – with low pay being one of many factors amid the Covid-19 danger, according to a poll commissioned by the GMB union.

In the survey, conducted by Survation on behalf of GMB for ITV News, 99% of frontline care workers said they still hadn’t been tested for Covid-19 and that 79% of respondents thought it was likely the care sector would see staff shortages as people were unwilling to work at current levels of pay amid the increased risk posed by Covid-19.

Other findings from the survey of more than 2,200 care workers include:

  • Almost three quarters (71%) think colleagues will die after being infected at work;
  • One in five care home workers said they had considered quitting over the lack of PPE in their workplace;
  • Almost half (44%) say they still haven’t got adequate PPE;
  • 85% of those without adequate PPE feel their health is being put at risk;
  • 86% are worried they will pass Covid-19 on to their family or household.

“Care workers are expected to keep our loved ones safe with inadequate protection, poverty wages and a pittance in sick pay if they get ill,” said GMB national officer Rachel Harrison.

“They’re terrified – not just for themselves, but for the people they look after and their families at home.

“This isn’t just about money – care workers are so committed to the people they care for. But you have to ask yourself if you’d risk your life and the lives of your family for less than £9 an hour, some on no sick pay and not even the basic equipment to keep you safe – because that’s what we’re asking care workers to do right now.

“Our care workers are fighting a war against this pandemic – that’s why GMB is calling for an active service payment and sick pay to be paid at the National Living Wage for all care workers.”

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