'Morally wrong' to expect care workers to work 'for poverty pay' without proper PPE

Dr John Sentamu said care workers were putting their lives at risk doing their jobs "for poverty pay"

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, is backing calls to the Government to ensure care workers receive a living wage. 

The campaign has been launched by Citizens UK after care worker Tabitha - whose real name has been changed to protect her identity - said she had to resort to food banks when she contracted coronavirus because her low-paid, zero-hour contract job left her unable to support herself, The Independent reports. 

"We appreciate the Thursday night clapping, but I feel like a Roman gladiator going into the ring," she said.

"Everyone is clapping you, but you're pitting yourself against a deadly disease without the proper pay and protection."

Citizens UK is calling on the Government to inject £1.4bn into the social care sector so that all key workers receive a living wage of £9.30 an hour - or £10.75 in London.

Archbishop Sentamu told The Independent it was "simply unacceptable" that care workers were putting their lives at risk without adequate personal protective equipment (PPE).

He said it was important to "prioritise the proper funding of social care".

"It is just morally wrong to put our care workers on the front line in the face of infection and potential death, with limited personal protective equipment, and to do that for poverty pay," he said.

"For me this is simply unacceptable. I hope that if this epidemic teaches us anything, it will be to draw us back to justice, compassion and love."