L&Q Living respond to immigration rule relaxation for care workers
In response to temporary changes to the Health and Care Worker visa brought in today (February 15 2022).
Charlie Culshaw, Director of Care and Support at L&Q Living, said:
“We welcome the government’s attempts to address this pressing issue and fill vital vacant roles in the social care sector.
“The pandemic lifted the lid on the importance of good quality care provided by specialist and highly skilled staff.
“As people are living longer, often with chronic life-limiting conditions, the number needing home help or moving into residential care will continue to grow.
“Pre-existing staff shortages meant there was already a gap in the sector’s capacity to meet growing demand for support. This already precarious situation was then hit by high levels of staff sickness due to Covid and the implications of a new immigration system.
“Today’s temporary changes to the Health and Care Worker visa may alleviate pressures for the time being, when local options are exhausted. However, recruitment and retention of staff will remain an issue in the long-term. More investment is needed to ensure the contributions, skills and commitment of our care workers are recognised and that working in social care becomes a more attractive and better paid career.
“Additionally, the £20,480 salary requirement means that even when organisations, such as L&Q, are committed to paying the real living wage, people living outside of London will not qualify. We therefore urge the government to lower this threshold, so that more care providers across the UK can benefit from the scheme.”