‘Clients belittle you’: foreign social care workers on life in the UK

Social care workers who have moved to the UK explain how working here differs from their native countries

When Canadian Lindsey Brooks started working in the UK’s social care sector three years ago, one of the most startling differences she noticed was the lack of respect often shown to care workers. “Many clients are really hard on care workers; they belittle you and treat you quite poorly,” says Brooks, a client relationship manager for HomeTouch. “I think many clients view care workers as a personal housekeeper and that’s just not what they’re there for.”

Care workers are better respected in Canada, Brooks believes, because they’re better paid and because of the country’s reputation of having one of the world’s best healthcare systems. “If you’re lucky enough to have a caregiver that you get on with, people consider that a privilege.”

In the UK, the social care industry is heavily reliant on foreign workers. From Canadians to Nigerians, citizens from around the world account for 20% of the 1.6 million people employed in the sector. But working in the crisis-stricken sector, which is coming under increasing pressure as the UK readies to leave the EU, can be quite a different experience from at home.

Read the full article: ‘Clients belittle you’: foreign social care workers on life in the UK

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