Post-Brexit immigration laws and a proposed £30,000 salary cap are set to worsen the growing workforce crisis in social care, industry chiefs have warned.
In a letter sent to the London Evening Standard, Glen Garrod, president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) said that given the number of people working in social care that come from the EU – there are now around 100,000 – it is likely that the sector will “struggle to cope” unless there is an “absolute guarantee” from the government that EU nationals can continue to work in the UK, without disruption.
“Our valued and dedicated workforce, which includes care workers, activities co-ordinators, personal care assistants and occupational therapists, perform essential everyday tasks to help look after our elderly and vulnerable population. This includes helping people to wash, dress and feed themselves, plus other basic care, which they simply could not do otherwise,” he told the newspaper.
The funding crisis in social care, he added, had been “exacerbated by Brexit, which risks locking out future much-needed care workers due to the proposed £30,000 salary cap”.
Commenting on the letter from ADASS, George McNamara, director of Policy and Influencing at Independent Age, the older people’s charity, said: “Arbitrarily shutting the door on dedicated social care workers from EU countries will do nothing more than perpetuate the growing staff crisis in social care.
“The government’s proposal to adopt a £30,000 minimum salary threshold would be a punishing and cold view of those who provide daily care for older people and some of the most vulnerable in society, and will only result in more people unable to access vital health and care support. Tragically, yet again, it seems that social care is the forgotten sector when it comes to policy-making.”