CARE workers are calling in sick because they cannot afford fuel to drive their cars to look after people in their homes, a union leader has said.

Christina McAnea, general secretary of Unison, attacked the government for "not having a plan" to tackle the cost of living crisis and warned that care workers would rather call in sick because they do not have the money for petrol.

McAnea said: "It is now costing care workers £100 to fill up their car. They just cannot afford it.

"[The government] have forgotten what hospital and ambulance staff, and care workers did during the pandemic. It's like they want to ignore them now."

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In an interview ahead of Unison's annual conference in Brighton next week she said the cost of living crisis will be the main issue on the agenda.

Mary Foy, Labour MP for City of Durham, told the Northern Echo: “Workers who drive for their job such as carers who rely on just 45p per mile reimbursement designated by HMRC increasingly find this does not cover the sky-high fuel prices, leaving them out of pocket to do the vital work they do.

“This has not been revaluated since 2011 and government simply must review this urgently.”

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Reacting to rising fuel prices this week, one care worker said: “It’s going to get worse too, it’s not fair on us at all.

"That’s exactly why no one wants to get into care and companies are struggling to get the staff. It’s shocking.”

Another said: “We have a small car and just for work it costs £55 a week in petrol to get to clients. I earn just over £10 an hour wage”


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