A proposed ban on movement between care homes will push carers into poverty, The Care Workers Charity (CWC) has warned.
A government consultation on stopping staff movement between care settings closes today.
An open letter from the CWC and industry leaders said the proposal singles out care home staff from working in two different care settings within a 14-day period unless this would result in unsafe staffing levels in a particular service, with healthcare professionals, registered managers and CQC inspectors amongst those exempt.
The CWC said care workers, 75% of whom earn less than the Real Living Wage, often had to work in multiple care settings to make ends meet.
Care home residents will also suffer from the policy by being left without quality care, the leaders argue.
The letter states: “This proposal is short-sighted and self-defeating. Valued care home workers will be prompted to leave jobs, in favour of financial stability and job security. Care providers will subsequently be reliant on agency staff to combat unsafe staffing levels which will inhibit the care of residents and threaten the closure of care homes.”
The leaders said they remained “unconvinced” by the government’s argument that the Infection Control Fund will cover the costs of the policy.
“This proposed policy is the result of chronic underfunding and neglect of the social care sector by successive governments,” the letter adds.
“The care workers who were lauded just a few months ago are the same care workers who will suffer at the hands of this policy. At this moment, we call for the government to bring together the social care sector as opposed to furthering fragmentation. Care workers are not expendable and cannot be taken for granted any longer, they deserve respect and recognition for their hard work.”