The Labour Party has demanded that the Government fix the social are system, and the move has been backed by the GMB Union. It comes as Care Minister Helen Whately said it would be ‘wonderful’ if care home were Covid-free by Sept 2021.
Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner said that despite entering Number 10 last year insisting he had a reform plan ready, it was not now expected to be published until 2021.
She said it was time for the Prime Minister to end the delays and bring forward a plan that would also guarantee all social care workers were paid the real living wage.
Ms Rayner will make a keynote speech on Sunday to Labour Connected – a four-day online event in place of the party’s annual conference, which was cancelled because of coronavirus.
Ahead of her address, Ms Rayner, a former care home worker, said: “On his first day in office the Prime Minister promised to fix the crisis in social care with a plan he said he had already prepared. Now it turns out that it won’t be published until next year.
“He must publish his plan to fix the crisis in social care without any more delays, and that plan must guarantee all care workers are paid at least the real living wage.”
In support of Rayner Rachel Harrison, GMB National Officer, said: “GMB has consistently called for a real living wage for social care workers. covid-19 has shone a spotlight on the importance of this – it’s what our members deserve.
“Statutory Sick Pay is a pittance. It’s not enough for anyone to survive on in any workplace – least of all care, where staff have to choose between going to work ill or staying home and not being able to pay the bills.
“Social care needs funding, not just for during a pandemic, but for long term reform. Contractual sick pay and at least a living wage should be a right for all social care workers.
“No longer should it be an expectation that to work in care means minimum wage and no sick pay.
“GMB will not stop fighting for pay justice for our key worker social care members.”
Care minister Helen Whately said it would be “wonderful” to achieve Covid-free care homes by September 2021.
She wrote a letter to the heads of local authorities, care home providers and public health and adult social care directors outlining her hopes.
Ms Whately added: “This time next year, it would be wonderful to achieve our objective of Covid-free care homes, resilient communities and a health and care workforce still able to give their very best.”
The letter was published alongside the Government’s adult social care winter action plan on Friday evening.