38 cross-party MPs, including Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP, Dr Dan Poulter, have backed a campaign started by fellow MP, Virendra Sharma, calling on the Government to increase the pay of social care workers and nurses to at least the living wage, in recognition of their immense effort during the coronavirus public health emergency.
In the letter to Matt Hancock, the Health and Social Care Secretary, the group of MP’s wrote “we believe that social care workers have shown tremendous courage and determination in their duties during the coronavirus public health emergency, despite being poorly paid relative to their value to society. During this crisis, social care workers have shown just how essential they are to our society. We urge you to recognise their immense effort and give them the pay rise they deserve”.
The letter also called on the Health and Social Care Secretary to offer staff additional death in service and sick pay benefits, reimbursement for travel between appointments, and that staff should no longer be referred to as low skilled.
During the coronavirus public health emergency, health and social care staff have been twice as likely to die of Covid-19, and more than 300 frontline staff have tragically lost their lives already.
Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP, Dr Dan Poulter said: “Social care staff have been underpaid and undervalued for far too long. One in four earn less than £10 an hour, and the average employee earns just £16,400 per annum. “
“This crisis offers us an unprecedented opportunity to reform our fragmented social care system, with the British public overwhelmingly supportive of a pay rise and improved working conditions for those in social care. “
“These workers have gone above and beyond in their efforts to look after those in their care and have been extremely brave in the face of this hideous virus. The Government must recognise their sacrifice by increasing their pay to at least the living wage”.