New Visa Rules and Care Work

The Care and Support Workers Organise! (CaSWO) statement on the new visa rules and its implications for care work and migrant rights,

 

When we thought this government couldn’t sink to a new low they’ve ramped up their xenophobia with care workers facing the sharpest edge. We as care workers delivering vital services throughout the country deplore the Government’s announcements yesterday.

These new measures will:

💜 Ban health and care workers bringing family dependants to the UK which will see our co-workers and friends denied basic rights to a family life whilst this vicious government subcontracts our (caring) responsibilities onto the migrant workers from across the world.

💜 Exploit migrant workers including care workers by enforcing an increase to the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) from January. This would mean migrants would only be able to apply for visas if they can pay several thousands of pounds upfront. For care workers who are already underpaid with two-thirds still not receiving The Real Living Wage. These costs will have a devastating impact, which will only multiply for those with family and dependents. The IHS is an insidious weaponising of healthcare into a financial barrier preventing migrants from applying for visas. Migrant workers already pay into the NHS through National Insurance contributions and income tax. This is notwithstanding the fact that migrants on average contribute far more to society than take away in benefits. It is unacceptable that the Government attempts to further exploit migrants in order to fund the (deserved and needed) pay increases of NHS staff in order to pit workers against each other. The lack of pay and funding for NHS staff comes from the Government’s failure to properly fund the NHS and to adequately tax the wealthy or large corporations, as that is where we should be sourcing these funds.

💜 Deter care workers from entering the UK, contributing to a dangerous shortage of care workers within a system already near breaking point. There remains to be 152,000 unfilled vacancies of care workers in the UK. Vacancies in our care homes have only just started to be addressed by the health and social care visa extensions. We refuse to allow government racism to get in the way of the safe delivery of vital services.

💜 Act as a misdirection to fighting the real problems care workers face of modern slavery. The charity Unseen has highlighted that 1 in 5 calls they receive from potential modern slavery victims are from people working in the care sector. The Government has done nothing to address this issue or bring justice to the bosses who perpetuate it in a sinister disdain for human rights. Instead they are actively stopping people in this position from being reunited with their families.

💜 Reduce freedom and do nothing to address care inequalities globally which are caused by British colonialism. As care workers from all over the world, living and working in the UK we welcome the contribution of migrant workers and advocate for good working and living conditions for care workers globally. We also emphasise the importance for care workers to be able to offer their valuable labour in the countries where it is needed and where they want to make a home. There is a drain on care work in many countries globally and we believe it is important to protect migrant rights while working on a global scale to level imbalances caused by British colonialism.

As people in this country are dying from lack of care, as care workers struggle to survive on poverty wages and the care system becomes only more oppressive, ineffective and dangerous, the government does nothing but perpetuate hate in measures that attack care workers and our friends in care adjacent sectors and beyond. The crisis in social care needs imagination and solutions of which the government has provided none. We extend care to any workers affected by these new measures and stand in solidarity with any groups resisting the government’s victimisation and scapegoating of migrant workers.

Be in touch and watch this space for further conversations and organising! We refuse to be tricked into turning against each other. Solidarity against this hateful government. They oppress us all so we will fight them together!

Source >> CaSWO


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