Govt’s ‘one job’ rule for care workers would ‘plunge thousands into poverty’

If care workers are restricted to one employer, they must be offered extra hours or compensation, Unison says.

4 Dec 2020| News

The government last month consulted on a new plan to prevent care workers from travelling between care homes, risking the spread of the Coronavirus, by limiting every person to just one employer.

Unison has warned that restricting the amount of work care professionals can take on without protecting pay will plunge thousands of people into poverty.

“Poverty pay is why so many care staff have multiple jobs in the first place,” Assistant General Secretary of the union, Christina McAnea, said. “This is despite the skilled and courageous work they do.”

While she agreed that fighting the spread of the virus is “paramount”, she urged government to consider the many alternative options available for achieving the same goal.

“The way to limit employees working in multiple locations is for employers to guarantee hours so staff no longer need to work in other care homes,” she said.

“Alternatively care homes ​can pay staff for the hours previously worked elsewhere. The government must ensure funds are available to achieve this.”

Unison further warned that staff shortages arising from a ‘one job’ rule, should it become law, could put residents at even greater risk.

The union called for government assurance that any law restricting care workers to one employer will guarantee that staff can put in extra hours or be compensated for their loss of income, with local authorities or the Care Quality Commission empowered to enforce these rights.