• 02 February 2021
  • 2 min read

Is The Care Sector About To Lose Thousands Of EU Employees?

  • Matt Farrah
    Co-Founder
    • Mat Martin
  • 0
  • 873
"There are around 113,000 EU citizens currently working in the care sector"

A report released by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) has suggested that one in seven EU employees are unaware they need to apply for settled status before June 2021.

50% of respondents in the survey stated they had no idea when the deadline was.

Other evidence suggests that many EU care workers are struggling with the application itself – either because of language difficulties or a lack of resources.

The government has been quick to reference the fact it has spent £17 million on ensuring the process runs smoothly – and that 4.9 million successful applications have been made into the scheme to date.

While those figures are impressive, care home managers and owners are likely to remain concerned about a cliff-edge scenario in the Summer.

What Is The EU Settlement Scheme?

Anyone currently living in the UK who is an EU citizen has to apply to this scheme by 30 June 2021 in order to remain in the UK.

Applicants are either granted settled or pre-settled status.

It’s been criticised by many for being rushed, and for placing unnecessary pressure on various sectors, including the care sector in particular.

There are around 113,000 EU citizens currently working in the care sector – which suggests that without some sort of change, tens of thousands could lose the ability to work overnight.

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Why Are So Many EU Workers Not Aware Of The Scheme?

The lack of awareness could have many causes, from the inability of the Home Office to properly explain the scheme, to the loss of face-to-face contact that’s vital in assisting with the application process.

And COVID-19 is inevitably not helping matters.

An Open University survey suggests nearly half of adult social care employers are operating with or below the absolute minimum of skills they require.

With this kind of pressure, managers and owners are dealing with the more immediate problem.

Unfortunately, both problems have to be tackled urgently.

What Can Be Done To Improve The Situation?

While the government is very much under the microscope on this issue, care providers need to step up their efforts to raise awareness and support EU workers too.

A number of resources have been created online – most of which are free to use and intend to help with the application process.

These resources need to be better promoted by employers and within care homes.

In total, 72 charities have been brought on board to assist applicants with the process.

Elsewhere, the JCWI among many others has suggested that the deadline for EU settled status should be extended.

The government hasn’t indicated yet whether they would agree to this – but any data near to the deadline that confirms a large shortfall could change minds.

For now, awareness is the key.

But when summer comes, more drastic action might become necessary to avoid a catastrophe.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

About the author

  • Matt Farrah
    Co-Founder

I studied English before moving into publishing in the mid 90s. I co-founded Nurses.co.uk and our other three sites in 2008. I wanted to provide a platform that gives a voice to those working in health and social care. I'm fascinated, generally, by the career choices we all make. But I'm especially interested in the stories told by those who choose to spend their life supporting others. They are mostly positive and life-affirming stories, despite the considerable challenges and burdens faced.

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  • Matt Farrah
    Co-Founder

About the author

  • Matt Farrah
    Co-Founder

I studied English before moving into publishing in the mid 90s. I co-founded Nurses.co.uk and our other three sites in 2008. I wanted to provide a platform that gives a voice to those working in health and social care. I'm fascinated, generally, by the career choices we all make. But I'm especially interested in the stories told by those who choose to spend their life supporting others. They are mostly positive and life-affirming stories, despite the considerable challenges and burdens faced.

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