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Social workers should be paid or get TOIL for overtime, demands Unison and Community Care

social-work-contract.jpgIn the second week of our campaign to promote the Social Work Contract, Community Care and Unison have asked MPs to ensure social workers are paid or get time off in lieu (TOIL) for working additional hours.  

In 2009, Social Work Task Force survey found 64% of social workers worked extra hours. A seperate survey by Unison showed they worked an average of 1.9 hours overtime per week without pay or TOIL. 

Helga Pile, Unison’s national officer for social work, said: ”Heavy caseloads and high vacancy rates mean many social workers have little choice but to work late. And the stats back it up – 64% work extra hours. It’s not as if they can say ‘sorry, I’ve got to go’, when it hits five o’clock if a vulnerable child is depending on them.  

“But social workers can’t keep picking up the slack; this constant overloading is not sustainable and lots of people in the profession are facing burnout.”

The Social Work Contract contains 10 points that will enable social workers to practice safely and effectively, one of which is giving social workers TOIL or pay for working additional hours.

Each week, Unison is writing to children’s secretary Tim Loughton, care services minister Paul Burstow, shadow children’s minister Sharon Hodgson and shadow care services minister Emily Thornberry, highlighting one part of the contract. Find out more

About Kirsty McGregor

Kirsty McGregor is Community Care's workforce editor. She reports daily on social workers' pay and conditions, education, training, career progression, registration and fitness to practise. This includes issues affecting newly qualified social workers across the UK and the recent development of the assessed and supported year in employment (ASYE) in England. She is also responsible for producing job hunting and career progression advice.

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One Response to Social workers should be paid or get TOIL for overtime, demands Unison and Community Care

  1. Me 11 April , 2013 at 11:37 pm #

    Toil is no use, with the high case loads we have to manage, there is never any time to take toil and if it is taken, it leaves us well behind in our work, ensuring that we need to work over time and so the cycle continues! I would much prefer to be paid overtime, LA’s take advantage of our care and commitment to the profession and use this against us in so much as professionals working for free for several hours each week.

    If LA’s were made to pay for the hours worked over time, i feel they would see a disturbing rise in wages due to so many professionals feeling pressured into doing so, which could create decisions to take on more front line staff?