Brit expats in Europe rush for UK temp jobs as carers

Published:  2 Jan at 6 PM
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Thousands of UK expats on hard times due to the sterling crash are flying home to take two-week job as carers in British care homes.

According to an investigation by the Telegraph, cash-strapped Brits are being taken on part-time and left in charge of elderly people suffering from dementia, learning difficulties and other illnesses common in old age. The report noted many recruits have no relevant qualifications and are being left to manage the best they can with just a few days’ training, a reference booklet and a telephone.

The UK’s social care system, reliant as it is on care workers, is at tipping point due to a shortage of workers and a lack of adequate government and private funding. Care home closures and hospital bed-blocking have resulted, and British placement agencies are now trawling Spanish resorts including Malaga and Benidorm offering wages as high as £800 a week, subsidised travel and free accommodation for a fortnight’s stint.

According to agents, many expats don’t want to do the jobs, but are being driven to accept due to financial worries as inflation escalates and sterling fails to improve against the euro. Some are on British state pensions and are fearful of the ongoing effect of Brexit on the exchange rate, others have seen their Spanish businesses begin to fail and others are simply taking advantage of a way to earn big money.

One recruit told reporters he was daunted by his role as it included not just manual handing, washing and dressing but also the giving of medications and the ability to deal with emergencies on his own. Companies importing unqualified, short-term carers are charging around £1,000 to families whose loved ones are in care, with one admitting British expats now form a major part of its business.

Manager of Consultus Projects Andrea Daddy said expats are accepting the temp0orary jobs because they had very little money on which to survive in Europe. The company’s workers come from France, Greece and Portugal as well as Spain and are treated as freelancers, meaning there’s no official quality oversight and no tax is being paid. Another such company, Helping Hands, has an annual turnover of £65 million and places around 380 expats each month, most of whom arrive from Spain.
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