Angela Constance MSP is calling for all care workers in Scotland to have access to the same death in service benefits as recently introduced for NHS workers in Scotland and announced for health and social care workers in England and Wales. The Almond Valley MSP raised the issue at First Minister Question in Holyrood last week, highlighting the plight of the partner and family of Mick Gallagher a 34 year old agency care worker from West Lothian who tragically lost his life to Coronavirus. The Scottish Government has introduced a Life Assurance Scheme for NHS workers who lose their lives to Coronavirus and the UK Government announced a scheme for both Health and Social Care workers.
Following First Minister’s Question Time, Angela Constance MSP said
‘Losing a loved one is always hard but more so at this time and there is a debt of gratitude that we all owe to all carers. This debt needs to be paid in kind and not just words and we must ensure that there is parity for all Social Care workers in Scotland who tragically lose their live to Coronavirus. The First Minister gave a clear signal of intent and advised that this matter is being addressed as a priority. The Health Secretary has reached out to employers in the private care sector and local authorities and a commitment was given to keep Parliament informed. I look forward to hearing more about the steps to being taken to deliver fairness for our social care workers and will continue to pursue this until it is resolved.”
In response, the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP outlined the Scottish Governments' intention to have parity for social care workers with what those who work in our NHS service currently have. She assured the Chamber that steps were now in place to make this happen, with an update due to be announced to MSPs at a later date, and added "We will be following this issue up and will keep Parliament advised. We absolutely intend that social care staff will not be in a disadvantageous situation should they die from the virus, with their families left in a worse position than those of NHS staff."
Full exchange can be viewed on the Official Report - link here -
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