Plan for performance-related pay

Performance-related pay for social workers
will be on offer for the first time under proposals by Newham
Council. Staff who have satisfactory appraisals and meet
performance targets will receive annual bonuses of £1,500 from
next April.

The scheme is likely to become a benchmark for
other councils if successful.

Newham’s scheme will be offered to all 300
social workers up to and including team manager level.

Its proposals say: “The appraisal process
provides the framework to determine whether a performance bonus
should be awarded.

“After discussion with the social worker at
the appraisal meeting, further targets [will be] set for future
performance-related bonus payments.”

The East London council is also planning to
offer “market supplements” of £3,000 for social workers in its
children’s assessment and children in need teams who stay with the
Newham council for two years.

Pay scales for all social workers will also be
raised by two increments and those for senior practitioners, deputy
team managers and team managers by one grade. This will result in
annual pay increases between £1,100 and £1,260 from

The council, whose social services department
has been under special measures since February, is also planning to
increase the ratio of unqualified social work assistants to social

Unison, which has staged a series of one-day
strikes over pay, said it would defer plans for industrial action
while studying the proposals.

Michael Gavan, branch chairperson of Newham
Unison, said it was likely to oppose performance-related bonuses
unless they were effectively a salary rise paid to all staff. He
also opposed the “market supplements”, claiming they are unfair to
colleagues not eligible.

Unison welcomed the proposed pay rises. Gavan
said: “We will now try to make sure the rest of the offer becomes
further enhancements for all social workers, with no strings.”

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