Nurse warns Universal Credit crackdown will lead to carers you 'can't trust'

27 January 2022, 12:39

'If we have people working who don't really want to be there, I can't trust them.'

By Tim Dodd

This care home nurse tells James O'Brien the Universal Credit change forcing jobseekers to pursue any job after 4 weeks "risks" mistakes being made as they'll have staff who "don't really want to be there".

The conversation comes as half a million Brits will be forced to widen their job search or risk a cut to their benefits as part of a crackdown from the Government.

People on Universal Credit are being targeted in a push to get 500,000 jobseekers in work by the end of June.

The campaign, dubbed Way to Work, is intended to target those who are able to work but either do not have a job or are earning low amounts.

Claimants will be forced to widen their job search after the shortened period of four weeks, rather than three months, with sanctions coming in if they are deemed to not be making a reasonable effort to secure a role, or if they turn down a job offer.

Data has shown that the demand for workers is there, with 1.2 million vacancies - 59 per cent higher than before the pandemic - the Government said.

Caller Linda said: "I'm a registered nurse in a care home. In each shift, I'm responsible for what the carers do.

"It's been a really tough two years for us. If we have people working who don't really want to be there, then I can't trust them.

"I'm responsible, it's my registration that's at risk if they do something wrong."

Read more: 'Britain needs to get back to work': Minister defends Universal Credit crackdown

Speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari this morning, work and pensions secretary Thérèse Coffey said: "There are over a million jobs to be filled and we're going to help people get into those."

She added: "There are plenty of jobs out there. We want to help prioritise in elements things like construction, logistics, health and social care, but of course there are other opportunities out there.

"I know that we do a lot of work with hospitality, more office jobs as well, all these things are important but we do know that the supply chain is important, to make sure we keep people working."

'This feels to me as the next step to punish more people.'

James asked: "How skilled is the work?"

"It's not a quantifiable skill," Linda replied.

Read more: Brown: Sunak brought 'Christmas of terrible distress' with Universal Credit cut

"Nursing, in my opinion, has never been a quantifiable skill, it's a bit of a science, it's a bit of an art. And it's never been suitably measured.

"I've had carers who can barely read or write and we've helped them through all the e-learning they have to do because they have different skills, because they care, they see that elderly person as a person, not as a number.

"If we have people who aren't capable of doing that, I'm responsible for them."

Asked about the Universal Credit changes, Linda said: "I see no sense at all in what this Tory government is doing."

Read more: Shadow Chancellor: Tax North Sea gas firms to help struggling families

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