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Home Office urged to extend social care workers visas

Section: Policy into PracticeType: News Item Date Published: 27th April 2020

Scottish organisations have written to the Home Secretary calling for parity with healthcare workers.

The ALLIANCE has joined a group of Scottish charities calling on the Home Secretary, Priti Patel MP, to extend the visas of care workers across the UK, in line with new rules for NHS staff.

As part of the recognition of their work on the frontline during the COVID-19 crisis, the UK Government pledged that healthcare workers will be allowed to stay in the UK for an extra year, however these announcements did not cover people working in social care.

The ALLIANCE, Camphill Scotland, CCPS, SCVO, Scottish Care and Volunteer Scotland have written directly to Ms Patel asking her to extend the visa waiving to the care sector (this link will take you away from our website).

Neil Henery, Director of Camphill Scotland, said “We urge the Home Secretary to extend visas for frontline social care workers in the same way she has done for those working in the NHS – for one year free of charge. Our international volunteers help to look after around  650 people with learning disabilities in Scotland. With their visas running out all they have been offered is a one month extension. Many would be very glad to stay and continue to support vulnerable people at this critical time. We should be doing everything we can to help them do so.”

In her press briefing on 26 April 2020 (this link will take you away from our website), the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary Jeane Freeman MSP lent her support, noting: “There is no good reason that I can see why you would take a different stand for our NHS workers as compared with our social care workers. Both groups of staff are vitally important in the work they are doing on this pandemic.”

A UK Government spokesperson told healthandcare.scot: “We have already extended the visas of NHS doctors, nurses and paramedics whose visas expire in the next six months and we will continue to work to see if we can assist other frontline workers during this crisis.”

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