The families and dependants of social care workers who die as a result of contracting coronavirus will now be able to stay in the country, the government has announced.
The Home Office confirmed yesterday that it is extending the offer of indefinite leave to remain, free of charge, to the families and dependants of NHS support staff and social care workers who die as result of contracting coronavirus.
The offer of indefinite leave to remain will be effective immediately and retrospectively.
The bereavement scheme was initially launched in April for health workers in the NHS and independent health and care sector, and today the scheme will now extend to NHS support staff and social care workers in recognition of their dedication and selflessness.
The decision follows criticism that many key workers and their families were left out of the original scheme.
‘Every death in this crisis is a tragedy, and sadly some NHS support staff and social care workers have made the ultimate sacrifice in the pursuit of saving the lives of others,’ said home secretary, Pritti Patel.
‘When I announced the introduction of the bereavement scheme in April, I said we would continue to work across government to look at ways to offer further support. Today we are extending the scheme to NHS support staff and social care workers.
‘We want to ensure families have the support they need and so this will be effective immediately and retrospectively.’
Responding to the news, GMB Organiser Lola McEvoy said ‘if you fight on the frontline you deserve the same support’.
‘But as with everything the devil is in the detail and we urge the Home Secretary to mirror the free auto-extension of work visa scheme as well as the free indefinite leave to remain for grieving families to all those staff eligible for Matt Hancock’s Life Assurance payments; that is – all key workers who are in front-line healthcare roles,’ she added.
‘Not only is it the right thing to do, it’s also an acceptance that regardless who you work for, where you were born or how much you’re paid – if you have fought front-line during this pandemic – you and your family will be supported and treated the same.’
Photo Credit – Coyot (Pixabay)