Comments from the Care Minister
Some key messages from the Care Minister - Caroline Dinenage.
27th August 2019
Writing for LGC, care minister Caroline Dinenage urges EU care workers to apply for settled status without delay.
At the heart of the social care system is a dedicated and compassionate workforce, and during my time as care minister, I have had the pleasure of meeting many of the wonderful people who make up our brilliant workforce across the country.
For all of them, providing the very best quality care to the people they work with is their absolute priority – often looking after those who are vulnerable and in time of great need - and they do this with a massive amount of commitment and compassion.
From my experience the overwhelming feeling is that we have a diverse, multi-cultural team of workers united by a passion to care for those that need their help – which is evident across the whole health and social care work force, from social care to the NHS. Over 100,000 EU citizens play a crucial role in that team, and I hope they will continue to do so long after we leave the European Union. For me, as care minister, I want to make sure that our hardworking EU staff know what steps they need to take to ensure they maintain the same rights to live and work here, after we leave the EU.
My message to EU staff is simple – we are leaving the EU on 31 October, but we want you to stay and through a straightforward application to the EU Settlement Scheme you can secure the status you need to stay.
The EU Settlement Scheme has been fully open since 30 March, following a period of piloting in the health and social care sector and has just granted its one millionth person status. All EU citizens living in the UK are eligible to apply, and applicants can either use the electronic application process, or a host of alternative routes.
It is free to apply and applicants only need to complete three key steps – prove their identity, show that that they live in the UK, and declare any criminal convictions. There is a wide range of support available by phone, email or in person to make an application, including 1,500 dedicated staff working to grant status.
If you’ve lived in the UK for five years or more, you can apply for full Settled Status now. If you’ve lived in the UK for fewer than five years, don’t worry – you can simply apply for pre-settled status initially and then once you have been here for five years you can apply for settled status.
It is also crucial that managers ensure their staff are aware of the scheme, and are encouraging those who can apply to do so in good time.
You can find more information about how to apply here. EU citizens have until the end of December 2020 to make an application, but whilst there is still a lot of time to apply, we’d encourage you to apply now, rather than leaving it until the last minute. One million EU citizens have already joined, and we want to ensure you apply as soon as you can.
I could not be more grateful for the wonderful work our social care workforce carries out on a day to day basis. Your dedication, skill and compassion is invaluable to the UK and the people who need your care.
Caroline Dinenage, care minister