Social Care crisis looms as 4 in 5 care workers expect colleagues to quit over low pay amid Coronavirus danger

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99% of frontline care workers say they still haven’t been tested for Covid-19

 Britain faces a social care crisis with four in five of care workers expecting colleagues to quit - with low pay being one of many factors amid the coronavirus danger, exclusive polling shows. 

The survey, conducted by Survation on behalf of GMB for ITV News [1], shows 79% of respondents thought it was likely the care sector would see staff shortages as people were unwilling to work at current levels of pay amid the increased risk posed by covid-19. 

Meanwhile as thousands of NHS staff tests are deemed ‘not up to scratch‘ [2] it emerges 99% of care staff have said they haven't been tested. 

Other findings from the survey of more than 2,200 care workers include: 

  • Almost three quarters (71%) think colleagues will die after being infected at work 
  • One in five care home workers said they had considered quitting over the lack of PPE in their workplace. 
  • Almost half (44%) still haven’t got adequate PPE 
  • 85% of those without adequate PPE feel their health is being put at risk 
  • 86% are worried they will pass covid-19 on to their family or household  

Tonight [Thursday April 23, 2020] at 7pm, GMB will stage its first ever Facebook Live virtual rally for carers  - recognising social care workers deserve for their work and demand they get the PPE they need to protect them, proper covid-19 testing and pay justice. 

Rachel Harrison, GMB National Officer said: "Care workers are expected to keep our loved ones safe with inadequate protection, poverty wages and a pittance in sick pay if they get ill. 

“They’re terrified – not just for themselves, but for the people they look after and their families at home. 

"This isn’t just about money - care workers are so committed to the people they care for. But you have to ask yourself if you’d risk your life and the lives of your family for less than £9 an hour, some on no sick pay and not even the basic equipment to keep you safe – because that’s what we’re asking care workers to do right now.  

“Our care workers are fighting a war against this pandemic – that's why GMB is calling for an active service payment and sick pay to be paid at the National Living Wage for all care workers.” 


Media enquiries: GMB Press Office on 07958 156846 or at


Notes to Editors:

[1] Survation conducted a telephone and online survey of 2,572 GMB Union members working in health and social care, between 8th- 17th April 2020