Government urged to take social care recruitment crisis seriously in event of ‘no deal’ Brexit

We are urging the Government to take a potential social care recruitment crisis seriously in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.

The care sector already struggles to deliver the hours required due to a lack of staff.

We will be seriously impacted if there is not a clear and coherent plan post-Brexit for foreign workers.

As well as the people who are here and the uncertainty over what happens to them, Brexit is actually putting off others, who would rather pick a country that embraces them working there and whose rules are set, as opposed to the UK where they just don’t know. So effectively they are voting with their feet.

It was recently revealed that ministers are refusing to release information to show what extra plans, if any, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has put in place to deal with a social care recruitment crisis in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.

A ‘no deal’ could see people from EU countries finding it difficult to come to the UK and work and they may even stop coming altogether. Those that are already here may have to return. This could be potentially dangerous for the social care industry as we employ lots of foreign workers.

As a sector we are already struggling to recruit and in the event of a no deal, there will simply not be enough care workers, which in turn will increase agency costs to the councils to cover their care calls, which means greater deficits for them in their care bills.

Plans to run a national recruitment campaign to raise the image and profile of the social care sector were announced recently, but these will go ahead regardless of the Brexit outcome.

Social care providers recently received a letter from the DHSC’s permanent Secretary, Sir Chris Wormald, encouraging us to have fully up-to-date and robust contingency plans for the possible implications of a no deal and pointed us towards the EU settlement scheme, which protects the rights of EU citizens already living in the UK, however this applies whether there is a deal or not.

We are unable to project our stance post Brexit as it is too difficult to predict.

As a business all we want is certainty, so we are waiting to see what happens before we can take appropriate action. I am sure that we are in the same position as many other businesses relying on unskilled foreign workers.

Whatever the outcome of Brexit, as a care provider our service users are our number one priority and we will ensure that they receive the same professional level of care as they always have done.