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Where's My Carer Gone?

01 February 2021

Ian Slater looks at the looming care crisis and its potential impact on care costs in catastrophic injury claims.

When on 4th November we published and discussed the latest ASHE 2020 data we again referenced my presentation at the May Conference. With apologies [not really] for plugging this once again it really is worth a quick watch if you can spare the time and have a lot of caffeine to hand.

I have been boring people for some time about what I see as a looming crisis in social care and the knock on effect which it is likely to have on carer wages and, by domino effect, the attractiveness of periodical payments and increased annual percentage calculations.

Some statistics to begin with:

  • 122,000 – the average number of vacancies which exist at any one time within the care sector
  • 1.3M – UK's total care workforce of which:
  • 115,000 – EU nationals
  • 134,000 – non EU nationals

So it was of interest to see an article in the Independent this week that 'Thousands of EU care workers in UK face losing immigration status'. I have spoken in the past about the new immigration points based system for potential care workers who might [C-19 permitting] want to come and work in the UK but the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants has taken a different approach by looking at the European nationals already in the UK who make up almost 9% of the current workforce.

'When the clapping stops: EU Care Workers after Brexit' surveyed 295 EU care workers and discovered:

  • 1 in 7 surveyed online did not know or were unsure what the EU Settlement Scheme [EUSS] was
  • 1 in 3 surveyed in person had not even heard of the EUSS
  • 1 in 3 surveyed online did not know either that there was a deadline for the EUSS or when it was
  • More than half those surveyed in person didn't know when the EUSS deadline was

To be clear, as the rules currently exist, miss the deadline of June 2021 and the individual risks losing their legal status and, with that, somebody somewhere loses their carer.

So why is any of this interesting? For the simple reason that a shortage of care workers will ultimately drive up the cost and whereas we saw a provisional increase of 5.47% at the end of last year it is worrying to think what the ONS will present having taken into account a full year of C-19, Brexit and the [looming] EUSS.

Watch this space: DWF have an extremely detailed database of care costs which we will be discussing in a soon-to-be-released podcast.

Further Reading