23 March 2022
The crisis in care is not a new topic and the pandemic certainly brought its own problems. But there are other causes that the government have overlooked in their ‘Made with Care campaign’.
As we see it, the inability to recruit reliable Personal Assistants (PAs) has three primary causes:
1. The role of a Personal Assistant is not widely understood
The role of a PA differs to that of a carer in a traditional sense. PAs enable disabled people to live independent and fulfilling lives. Its not just personal care. They enable individuals to go to work, to run a business of their own, to go on holiday and take part in sports, to have hobbies and a social life.
2. The rates of pay are too low.
The budget allocated to a ‘care package’ funding is only enough to offer a low hourly rate which is insufficient to attract potential PAs. As such, prospective PAs will earn much more through other similar roles such as house cleaning or dog walking, for example.
3. New laws post Brexit prevent disabled individuals from employing PAs from abroad.
As you can see on the government website here, care workers can apply for a Health and Care worker visa. However, if you are an individual using direct payments to fund your Personal Assistant’s hours, you are not considered an eligible employer so you can not apply to be a sponsor for a visa application.
If these issues are affecting you, or somebody that you know we encourage you to write to your MP. You can find the contact details of your local MP here and download our template letter which addresses all of these key issues - if possible, please copy in SMA UK email@example.com so that we can see how many people are joining us in this campaign. Thank you.