Asylum seekers can work in care homes - P Patel rule change

Priti Patel plans to use asylum seekers to replace care workers sacked by ‘no jab, no job’ policy.

I have mixed feelings over this, especially the phrase about someone not needing specialist training.
Some refugees who already have some experience of healthcare in their own countries will be fine, IF they have sufficient English language, but once again, the idea that anyone can be a carer as it’s so low skilled is insulting.

Oh dear - I can see lots of problems and upset if this goes ahead.

English was always my mum’s favourite subject at school, and we were not allowed to use any slang whatsoever. When she needed 3 carers a day, the council had just started employing carers from Eastern Europe. Many were well educated, but needed to improve their English before being allowed to work in the UK. Mum said they worked very hard, much harder than some of the English carers did! I know they loved going to her, as she always corrected their English, very kindly.

However, some were very unfamiliar with English cooking.
I remember mum despaired of one carer who had no idea of what gravy was, or how to make it!!

Especially when we have large gaps in the workforce it makes no sense to have asylum seekers idling, which the government has insisted on for years. Now, finally, they have come up with a change in policy. I won’t comment on what I think of it, there’s too much likelihood of me getting really political.

But I will say this: it’s a political quick fix that won’t work because the biggest problem in the social care sector is that it’s an afterthought in government circles, a very poor second to the NHS. Even lower than mental health services in the NHS.

Until that’s fixed, it doesn’t matter where the workers come from.

This is all part of the government plan - and is wrong on so many levels.

Importantly, the above article states: ‘Asylum seekers do not require visas as they are already in the UK and, unlike other shortage occupations like butchers, welders and laboratory technicians, care workers do not require specialist training.’

Why on earth does this uncaring and out of touch government think it is acceptable for asylum seekers to be care givers for the most vulnerable people, with little training and possibly very mixed motives in doing this job? Why is there no protest from political opponents, professional organisations, trades unions or the mainstream media?

So get rid of indigenous care home workers who, for their own personal reasons don’t wish to take the jab, and who gave their all during the ‘pandemic’ - and replace them with migrants? This regime is grotesquely corrupt. Will the same be suggested for the impending NHS staff shortage?

This is scandalous.

Will they be paid equivalent to Carers Allowance, or the National Minimum Wage, I wonder???

Hi Jems.

Firstly I’d better point out that I’m really not a fan of this government, but even a broken clock is right twice a day.

if they’ve changed policy to allow asylum seekers to work - if only after 12 months - that’s actually a good thing. It saves the government money and it allows people with skills to pay their way. Everybody wins. And yes - they’ll get minimum wage as they’re going to be employed. Anyone with a job in the UK is protected by employment laws. I’d love to know what you think the government “plan” is. For clarity’s sake, an asylum seeker is not a migrant. A migrant is here for economic purposes. An asylum seeker is treated as being here as a place of refuge. Migrants are allowed, in fact encouraged, to find work and not be a burden on the state. Until now, asylum seekers were not allowed to. At all.

Regarding the carer issue: there’s a shortage of workers anyway. This has nothing to do with the vaccine - the recruitment problems are endemic within the care sector, and for years the staff turnover has always been ridiculously high, up to 30% and more.

“Indigenous” is a term used by the extreme right as a dog whistle term for white. Actually, the care sector has a good, strong ethnic mix. And has done for years. Those who don’t want to take the jab will come from all parts of that mix. That’s the reality.

The asylum seekers who work in care homes will be vaccinated. They’re not dirty or diseased. Vulnerable people will be as safe with them as with anyone else. And let’s look at the number of care workers who have gone to prison for what they’ve done to vulnerable people in the past: people are people. There will always be those who are cruel, bullies, thieves: being an asylum seeker doesn’t make that more likely. Arguably, far from it if they are more likely to be scrutinised by people who think they are there for “mixed motives.”

As for not wanting the vaccine: tough. Vaccine mandates are rare in this country, but it’s by no means the first time, and frankly I want my Mum to be protected in her care home as far as possible.

ALL care workers - by law - have to receive the appropriate training for their role and they have to qualify within a set period of time. This will require a reasonable level of English and literacy. That will not change.

This is not scandalous. It’s more of a panic measure, to be honest. But there is a little sense behind it. Which is pretty amazing, given where it’s come from.


I do not agree with any of the points in your patronising, deliberately provocative post.

But I am not prepared to get into political debate on this forum - or with you.

As for not wanting the vaccine: tough. Vaccine mandates are rare in this country, but it’s by no means the first time, and frankly I want my Mum to be protected in her care home as far as possible.” This statement proves how greatly uninformed you are - seems research is required.

I don’t feel Charles has written a patronising or provocative post.
Stating how he sees the situation as you have been free to do so.

Jems, you can put your own opinion.
You have no right to criticise others on the forum, just because they don’t share your opinions.

Hi Jems. I was simply saying it as I see it. I wasn’t trying to change your mind, just to give a different viewpoint. If you feel I’ve broken the rules in any way, please ask a moderator to look the post over. I’ll happily agree to any changes they want.

On the vaccine mandate point, though, it’s a fact. The Vaccination Act 1853 made it compulsory across the UK for all parents to ensure their child was vaccinated against smallpox by the age of 3 months. The Science Museum website says:

“In the 1800s, some people objected to compulsory vaccination because they felt it violated their personal liberty. The Vaccination Act of 1853 introduced mandatory smallpox vaccination in England and Wales for infants up to three months old. The Act was met with opposition from people who demanded the right to control their bodies and those of their children.”

It also triggered an Anti-Vaccination League, that seems to have fizzled out in the 70s. The whole story is here: Smallpox and the story of vaccination | Science Museum

I don’t agree with this at all. I would not have wanted people with no experience looking after my Mum for sure. I also worry about people not having a good command of the English language. It’s not fair on us and not fair on them and can put both sides in embarrassing positions.

I had to ask a nurse in a hospital 3 times to repeat what she was saying and I hated doing it but I just could not understand what she was trying to say. She got stroppy and one of her colleagues had to help out. It was not pleasant for either of us but there was no way my Mum could have understood her.

Years ago I worked in a Jobcentre. Many of the jobs on our boards demanded experience: usually at least two years.

I was asked, many times, “How do I get experience if everyone wants it?”

I don’t interview care workers: I leave it to their employers. I have no idea what experience they have - or don’t. And let’s be honest, that’s what we do.

One of Mike’s first workers was a lady with a strong accent. We didn’t think Mike would cope with that but decided to let him try. They got on like a house on fire, and she was the only worker - ever - who was able to calm him with minimum effort. She was brilliant. Unfortunately she had to finish caring because of a back injury. She was gutted - and so were we all.

I can see all the reasons why this will be a great idea, which doesn’t sit easily with me giving where it came from! I’m surprised it hasn’t been more widely publicised though.

The language / culture barrier is one that already exists and in an ideal world we’d have enough people to choose from that had fantastic English & lots of qualifications. When I went for my ADHD assessment I answered the psychiatrists question about jokes 3 times before I realised he was talking about jobs. This is someone highly skilled, been in the country for years. My dad’s current (temp) carer, supplied by the NHS, didn’t know what swede, leeks, cleanser, toner etc was and we got into a pickle with the shopping over a prawn / prune miscommunication! She came to care for my dad knowing nothing about Parkinsons, diabetes, sensory loss etc and didn’t know what to do in the event of a fire. She spends most of the day on the phone & does little to stimulate my dad in any way so her ‘work’ is about 4 hours a day for live-in care. However, she has been doing this job in this country for 20 years.

At the end of the day, far too many people think that caring is so low skilled that anyone can do it. The low pay, poor conditions etc do nothing to deflect that & the stories from the last 2 years have probably put most people off caring for life! We are desperate for people and I really hope this new policy can help both the asylum seekers AND the people they are caring for. We’ve gained some really great people that came here as asylum seekers so hopefully they’ll find some wonderful carers out of it and it’s a big yay from me regarding allowing them to work / have some self respect too. We shall see how it pans out!

Yes, I’ve had the prawn/prune confusion from carers. Perhaps one day no one will be eating prunes any longer. And it won’t be a problem that a Bangladeshi carer doesn’t know the difference between bread pudding and bread-and-butter pudding!

One of my favourite stories (though not at the time) was when we had care workers to support Mike in preparation for him moving to his supported living house. His care staff cooked with him, and Mike decided he wanted to bake a cake. so Gill gave his worker a recipe book and off they went.

They made a sponge cake by the all-in-one method. But when it came time to make the buttercream, the care worker, who is English but had never baked a cake, looked in the recipe book and found the creaming method.

So Mike presented us with a sponge cake with a raw cake mix filling.

The bin ate well.

Reminds me of a Support Worker my daughter had. Daughter wanted to make little iced cakes. I provided all the ingredients and left them to it. I went to return my coffee cup to the kitchen and the SW had a big bowl full of cold water to which she was adding icing sugar. I said that she only needed a few tablespoons of water and she gave me a withering look and said “I do know what I’m doing.” She came in later and said she was going to the shop to buy another box of icing sugar!! It never did thicken up so that was a total waste of money and effort. She couldn’t bring herself to admit she was wrong though and said that was how she always did it!! :rofl:

I despair of some English staff being able to cook! My son had my late mum’s combination microwave, almost new, seldom used. Cost over £300. I bought all her electrical goods. The manuals were there, no one would read them or ring me. I was asked to take it away and get a cheap one so staff could manage to use it!

:laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

I think we need a funny but true stories page - something to cheer us up and remind us that caring isn’t always horrible!