News

Nursing assistant and senior care worker jobs should be protected post-Brexit, says government body

Migrant Advisory Committee demands increase for healthcare workers’ salaries 
Overseas nursing healthcare assistant working in a care home in the UK

Migrant Advisory Committee demands increase to healthcare workers salaries during COVID-19 pandemic

Nursing assistants and senior care workers should be added to the Shortage Occupation List to relieve pressure when freedom of movement across the European Union ends post-Brexit.

The recommendation comes from the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) , which highlighted that low wages in social care would lead to stark consequences, with most occupations ineligible for the skilled worker route and the Shortage Occupation List.

Migration Advisory Committee calls for proper funding of social care without delay

MAC chair Professor Brian Bell has written to the home secretary

Migrant Advisory Committee demands increase to healthcare workers’ salaries during COVID-19 pandemic


Picture: Charles Milligan

Nursing assistants and senior care workers should be added to the Shortage Occupation List to relieve pressure when freedom of movement across the European Union ends post-Brexit.

The recommendation comes from the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), which highlighted that low wages in social care would lead to stark consequences, with most occupations ineligible for the skilled worker route and the Shortage Occupation List.

Migration Advisory Committee calls for proper funding of social care ‘without delay’

MAC chair Professor Brian Bell has written to the home secretary Priti Patel warning her that proper funding of social care is needed ‘without delay’ to enable higher wages to be paid to healthcare workers.

He said it is also vital to make jobs more attractive to the general UK workforce by increasing salaries rather than relying on migrants, particularly during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

‘The risks of this funding increase not happening in a timely manner are stark,’ he wrote.

‘If that does not occur, or occurs with substantial delay, we would expect the end of freedom of movement to increase the pressure on the social care sector, something that would be particularly difficult to understand at a time when so many care occupations are central to the COVID-19 front-line response.’

MAC also recommended that senior care workers and other health workers be eligible for a skilled worker visa.

The committee was set up to consider what medium-skill occupations should be included ahead of the introduction of a points-based immigration system in January 2021.

RCN chief executive calls for removal of arbitrary barriers that prevent ‘much-needed’ healthcare professionals working in the UK


Dame Donna Kinnair

RCN chief executive and general secretary Dame Donna Kinnair said: ‘We agree with the recommendation that nursing support workers and assistants across health and care be added to the Shortage Occupation List. But with tens of thousands of vacancies across the UK, these changes alone won’t end the workforce crisis, which threatens the safe and effective care of patients.’

She added: ‘The government must remove all arbitrary barriers that prevent talented and much-needed health and care professionals working in the UK, including removal of the unfair tax for using the services they deliver.

‘It must also progress a clear, well-funded plan to grow and develop our existing workforce and domestic routes into nursing.’


In other news

Sign up to continue reading for FREE

OR

Subscribe for unlimited access

Enjoy 1 month's access for £1 and get:

  • Full access to nursing standard.com and the Nursing Standard app
  • Monthly digital edition
  • RCNi Portfolio and interactive CPD quizzes
  • RCNi Learning with 200+ evidence-based modules
  • 10 articles a month from any other RCNi journal

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs