Saturday, 5 December 2020

Community Carers Abandoned During Covid-19

Incredible as it may sound to normal decent folks out there, carers in our community are being sent out on the front line, risking Covid-19, to take care of the most vulnerable in our society, but are then being abandoned without pay when they catch Covid-19 from doing that valuable work.

I have been contacted by a community care professional working in one of the Scottish council areas which is currently a hotbed for Covid-19. Her job entails visiting various vulnerable people with health issues in their own homes.
 
Earlier this month she tested positive for Covid-19, so she immediately informed her employer and dutifully isolated herself for 14 days.
 
But her employer has now informed her that they will NOT be paying her for the 14 days she had to isolate with Covid-19 and have further advised her that she is only entitled to the Scottish Governments Statutory Sick Pay of £94/week. 

She is now concerned about paying her rent, council tax, and other bills this month. Christmas for her and her family this year is looking VERY bleak. 

There is something seriously wrong when the Scottish Government are quite happy to put health professionals directly in harms way from Covid-19, yet drop them like a stone and refuse to support them in any meaningful way, forcing them in to hardship, when they become harmed by Covid-19.
 
It's quite sickening to watch the Scottish Government give other workers furlough payments of up to £2500/month to sit safely in their own homes, while health care professionals who we rely on to help us in this fight against Covid-19 get just £94/week thrown at them when they get ill. 

These are people who we are sending out in to the community, risking their own health and their families health, to care for the most vulnerable in our society. Yet we throw them absolute scraps of just £94/week when they catch Covid-19 from doing this essential job.
 
The Scottish Government should hang their heads in shame.

These health workers are already on low wages of just £9.25/hr. Most of them already live hand to mouth, from one pay cheque to the next. They have no option but to accept this horribly unfair treatment from the Scottish Government. 

Disgraceful.

By no stretch of the imagination can the Scottish Governments policy towards our care workers be viewed as being in any way conducive to combatting Covid-19 in our country. It's a well known fact throughout the care industry that many low paid care workers purposely do NOT use the Governments Protect Scotland app because they cannot afford for Protect Scotland to contact them and make them take 14 days off work!

Fortunately there are many decent and conscientious people working in our care industry and my source who contacted me is one of them. 

She did the right thing. She immediately stopped working and isolated when she tested positive for Covid-19. 

But now she is being penalised financially for it. 

The First Minister should answer the question of whether she thinks the Scottish Governments treatment of our community carers is FAIR.

It's a reasonable question, don't you think?

If you are as outraged as me about this situation, don't bother contacting Conservative leader Ruth Davidson or Labour's Richard Leonard to ask them to put this question to Nicola Sturgeon at the next First Minister's questions. 

I've already done that.

Conservative leader Ruth Davidson just told the poor carer she should apply for Government handouts (which she's not entitled to because you must be on benefits to get these). 

And as for Labour's Richard Leonard, well he didn't even have the decency to bother with a reply.