The already fragile social care workforce will receive a further body blow under any Brexit scenario and older people in the South could be especially badly hit, the charity Age UK warns. But it is not too late to change this: Age UK is asking the Government to put measures in place now to allow EU nationals to continue to come to the UK to work as paid care staff, whatever happens with ‘Brexit’.
With around 110,000 job vacancies in care in England, more than 3 in 10 staff leaving each year, and 104,000 care jobs (1) and rising held by EU nationals, the Charity is calling on the Government to take action so that older people and their families can still be confident of getting the care they rely on in future.
Age UK is arguing that care workers should not be covered by the new rule recommended by the Government’s Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) that ‘low skilled EU workers’ should no longer have preferential access to the UK labour market after a UK withdrawal from the EU. The Charity says that care workers are low paid, not low skilled. In addition, the Charity fears that care is in no fit state to withstand the systemic shock that such a move would represent. EU nationals who work in social care are concentrated in particular areas of the country, with the highest proportion in London where 1 in 7(2) are from the EU and significant numbers also to be found in the South West and South East, the Home Counties, Midlands and Manchester.