Dorset Council have today, Wednesday, signed up to UNISON’s ‘Stop the Spread’ pledge, a key initiative by the UK’s biggest trade union to support care workers in the fight against coronavirus.
The commitments include key safety measures, such as priority testing for social care workers and providing life saving personal protective equipment. In addition, the pledge will provide key workers in the frontline fight against coronavirus with important employment protections. These include the provision of full pay during self-isolation and leave on full pay for workers caring for a dependent with COVID-19.
A survey conducted by UNISON found that 8 out of 10 care workers would not receive their normal pay if they were absent due to COVID-19 and that, as a result of inadequate sick pay, has forced many to attend work while ill.
The pledge was developed to recognise that social care workers have been at the forefront of the fight against coronavirus, often placing their lives at risk by simply going to work.
UNISON has written to all county councils and unitary authorities across the South West calling on them to sign the pledge.
Dorset Council Chief Executive, Matt Prosser, said:
“We’re incredibly proud of everyone who has been working on the frontline during COVID-19. Throughout the pandemic, our experience of Dorset’s care sector has been hugely positive.
“This pledge shows our commitment to keeping everyone in our communities in Dorset safe and healthy and we salute all our care workers, managers, and indeed all staff working to look after our residents.”
UNISON South West regional secretary, Joanne Kaye said:
“Care workers across the South West and beyond have been on the frontline throughout this pandemic, putting the people they care for above themselves and their families, they deserve the highest level of support and protection that employers can provide.
“By signing UNISON’s Stop the Spread pledge, Dorset Council are showing a strong and clear commitment to care workers across the county.”