Leicestershire Council could slash dozens of social work jobs and move some social care staff to a call centre in a bid to save money.
The council is consulting staff on a proposed restructure of the adults and communities department, which could involve cutting management posts by half and other roles by 30%.
The East Midlands authority is the latest in a string of councils to introduce call centres for social care functions after the coalition government slashed more than £1bn from local authority budgets in England for 2010-11.
Up to 360 people are at risk of seeing their jobs changed or scrapped under the scheme, according to local reports.
“We aim to reduce the number of managers and free up more social care workers from administration tasks so they can concentrate on frontline services,” said a council spokesperson.
“Efficiency savings can be made in implementing this new way of working to give both improved access and better value for money.”
The call centre, which is expected to deal with the high volume of calls requesting advice and signposting to services, will be staffed by advisors and adult social care workers.
But Leicestershire’s local branch of Unison has slammed the proposals, claiming the council is getting “unqualified staff to do qualified work”.
“They will have staff on quite a low grade screening out 80% of the calls,” said a spokesperson for the union, who wishes to remain anonymous.
“There is low morale [in the department, because] people are feeling very undervalued.”