“Let our carers keep every penny” – Unite the union call to UK government

In May, the Welsh government announced a special one-off £500 payment for those who provide direct care, in care homes and domiciliary care in the community. The payment also includes ancillary staff such as cooks and cleaners, as well as personal assistants in the community, and nursing staff employed by care homes.

The UK Tory government has said it won’t make this payment tax-free. This means our hardworking social care workforce won’t be able to keep every penny of this special £500 payment.

Welsh Labour deputy leader Carolyn Harris has argued that the payment recognises the exceptional care by some of the lowest paid workers, in exceptional circumstances.

Many social care staff work in private settings do not benefit from nationally negotiated pay schemes such as the Living Wage paid in the Welsh NHS.

Unite the union is encouraging members of the public to sign and share the petition available on our social media to show their strength of feeling.

Unite Wales Lead Officer for Local Government Paddy McNaught said: “We want every penny of this £500 to be in the pockets of those care workers who have done so much for so many, throughout the crisis.

"It’s a real shame that the Tories are refusing to waive charges on this special one-off payment. We all know that our social care workers have been absolute heroes. They don’t take home the big pay packets, but have given their all in caring for our loved ones.

"This is a way of showing our thanks, the UK government should see sense and support our care workers.”