VULNERABLE people who rely on care workers are being put at huge risk as staff say they cannot afford to travel in the face of sky-high prices at the pumps, say union leaders in Wales.
UNISON, which represents thousands of workers across Wales, has heard from those who rely on their car and now say it is costing them to go to work with some staff being paid as little as 20p a mile.
Some staff are now considering looking for work elsewhere as it is costing them more to go to work than they are being paid.
UNISON is calling for an immediate rise in mileage rates for all public sector and care workers in Wales.
The union is already in talks with Welsh Government to support health workers in the face of rapidly rising fuel costs and is now calling on all local authorities and care providers in Wales to raise the mileage rate for their staff.
Mark Turner, UNISON Cymru/Wales care lead, said he and his colleagues are now being flooded with messages from care workers who use their cars for work about the cost-of-living crisis and the escalating cost of mileage.
Mark said: “We are being told, understandably, that care workers cannot afford to pay the huge increased price of petrol and diesel they need to do their jobs.
“This is a serious crisis and represents a huge risk to those vulnerable people who need and depend on care workers to survive.
“That’s why UNISON is writing to all care providers in Wales to make a plea for increased mileage rates now to enable staff to do their work.”
Lianne Dallimore, chair of the UNISON Cymru/Wales local government committee, said: “This is a crisis affecting thousands of people across Wales and throughout the UK who are now unable to carry out vital work because of rising fuel costs.
“We are calling on all 22 local authorities across Wales to take action today and ease the burden on their hard working staff by immediately raising mileage rates above their current meagre levels.”