Stirling MSP Bruce Crawford has welcomed an announcement by the Health Secretary Jeane Freeman, on further support measures for social care workers during the coronavirus health crisis.

Scottish Government has stepped in to provide additional funding to ensure all social care workers receive enhanced sick pay where they have received a positive COVID-19 test.

Where any social care worker dies without death in service cover in their contracted pension arrangements, the Scottish Government also plans to provide a one-off payment of £60,000 to a named survivor.

The Health Secretary said:

“Social Care staff provide a critical and valuable service, never more apparent than during this emergency period.

“While some employers offer employment contracts closer to the Scottish Government’s fair work principles, it is clear that others do not. In recognition of the current exceptional circumstances and in order to ensure that social care workers are given the urgent support they deserve, we will develop a Scottish Government funded scheme for care workers in respect of sick pay and death in service benefits.

“These fair work issues and how they are realised in commissioning contracts will require to be addressed but, in the current circumstances, my focus now is on fairness for the care workers affected.

“We will continue to work with local government, social care providers and trades unions on further details of the plans over the course of next week.”

Bruce Crawford added:

“Social care workers have remained on the frontlines of this pandemic, caring for some of the most vulnerable in our communities. Day-in and day-out these key staff work to ensure our loved ones are safe and looked after, so it’s only right that this package of support is put in place.

“I want to pay tribute to social care workers, and indeed all key workers, who have performed vital roles in the midst of this unprecedented health crisis. It’s through their hard work and dedication that we’ve all been able to sustain lockdown, protect the NHS and save lives.”