The care industry has come under scrutiny in the UK in recent months for the exploitation of overseas healthcare workers. Given the global economic climate, many vulnerable people are being forced to seek out work in safer countries. However, the Centre for Social Justice estimates that 13,000 people have been subjected to modern slavery in the UK, meaning this country hasn’t been the safe haven it should be in many cases.
Care workers were added to the Shortage Occupation List in 2020, which has made it easier for migrant workers in the industry to seek roles in the UK. While being a positive step for experienced workers to find lucrative employment, it’s also created an opportunity for exploitation. Many workers have been charged thousands of pounds to enter the country with the promise of work when they arrive. In some cases, it’s been reported the payments have exceeded £3,000, and even gone up to £18,000 (according to the Guardian). Not only are these workers subjected to financial abuse that they’re often too afraid to report, but there have also been reports of verbal and even physical abuse, as well as dire working conditions: working with no breaks, forced to work for shifts far exceeding the legislated limits, sleep deprivation while offering care at night. The worst reports have claimed workers have experienced threats of being reported to the police or home office and have had their passports withheld by recruiters or employers.
Not only is this affecting workers, but also service-users are impacted when false claims are made by recruiters about the experience level of their staff. Many exploited workers have very little or even no experience in health or social care, which puts service-users in danger and deprives them of the high-quality care they need and deserve.
Paterson Health & Social Care not only condemns exploitation of vulnerable overseas workers, as well as the endangerment of service-users, but we also whole-heartedly support the need for change in the industry. We ensure our workers are:
Experienced in the role they’re applying for – whether it’s support worker, healthcare assistant, Nurse, etc – our workers always have the qualifications and degree of experience necessary to perform their duties and responsibilities safely and effectively
Never charged to join our team – we will never charge our candidates a fee to join our team. All our workers already reside in the UK, and even receive FREE induction and refresher training while they work with us to ensure they maintain and improve their skillset
Treated with the respect they deserve – our workers are from a range of backgrounds, and we ensure all the people that work with us are treated with respect, dignity and professionalism
Paid fairly – our workers are paid a competitive rate for their roles with us and we even run a holiday pay scheme to ensure staff can rest, take time out for their lives and families and remain refreshed and ready to perform in their roles
We will continue to ensure our team is treated with the respect they deserve and will keep raising awareness to encourage the Government to act on behalf of those that are exploited for their simply right to safety and employment.
If you’d like to discuss working with us, or any requirements for staff, please get in touch with one of our branches.