UNISON SW have launched a campaign to protect the social care workforce and clients in the South West as we learn to live with Covid 19 based on the successful campaign running in the North West. https://www.unisonnw.org/care_workers_vs_covid_19
There are 3 strands to the campaign:
1) We are asking councils to sign up to our Stop the Spread pledge (see below)
2) We will be engaging with the larger social care providers to sign up and also showcasing how they are using the Infection Control Fund to support the workforce
3) We are empowering you, the social care workforce, to use the campaign with employers to improve terms and conditions thereby raising the profile of social care workers with the public
We have written the pledge for Councils in the knowledge that many do not have much/any in house adult social care provision at this time, but they can still encourage and influence the Social Care providers especially via commissioned services.
The Infection Control Fund is time-limited we are keen to promote its use so that any member forced to take time off does so on full pay.
Supporting Care Workers to Stop the Spread – Pledge for Councils in the South West
- Protect Health
- Priority testing to be made available for care workers to limit the spread of disease to vulnerable patients and service users.
- Support providers to have access to the correct PPE and provide continued and updated infection control training as appropriate
- Ensure care workers have access to COVID -19 testing and are not prevented from undergoing testing by work commitments.
- Care workers will not be required to work where they, or a member of their household, has undergone testing, until the results of the test are confirmed as negative.
- In circumstances where a care worker or a member of their household has to undergo testing, the care worker will not be required to attend work and will be entitled to full normal pay for the period of COVID-19 related absence.
- Protect Pay
- Encourage providers to use ICG funding to ensure that care workers receive full normal pay where they are unable to work due to COVID-19. This includes all COVID-19 related sickness, self isolation, requirement to ‘shield’ under government guidance, those looking after a family member with COVID-19 and all staff on zero hour contracts, bank/relief contracts or multiple contracts.
- Monitor provider use of ICG funding for this purpose.
- Protect Employment
- Encourage providers to actively support care workers who are unable to work due to the need to stay at home and care for themselves or their family. For example that no care worker will be dismissed or laid off as a direct result of staying at home to care for themselves or their family.
- Encourage providers to create a positive workplace culture by ensuring that all COVID -19 related absences are excluded from absence management procedures and punitive triggers.
- Ensure the active recruitment of care workers on favourable terms and conditions is undertaken to enable continuity of service and limit the number of staff supporting any one group of service users and monitor outcomes.
- Protect our Workplaces/Care Homes
- Ensure all workplaces are safe.
- Apply suitable measures and arrangements to ensure social distancing where possible, appropriate hand-washing practice and a cleaning and disinfection regime are possible in settings not already covered by the PPE provision outlined above.
- Ensure that care workers work in only one care home, with an assigned group of residents and/or only in specified areas of a care home.
Protect our families/communities
- Encourage providers to actively support care workers who are the primary carer for a dependent who has COVID 19 and for whom care and/or childcare is unavailable with the provision of full normal pay in these circumstances.
- Take steps to limit care workers using public transport by providing changing rooms, facilities (showers, lockers etc) and secure bike storage in the workplace. The funding of taxis to/from the workplace will be available for care workers unable to drive, walk or cycle to work.
- Provide accommodation for care workers who have pro-actively chosen to separate from their families to limit social interaction outside work in order to minimise the spread within the care home.