Reward for council staff’s three-star performance really took the biscuit

Rewards from managers to social care staff in three-star
departments to thank them for their efforts have ranged from
nothing to £150 bonuses, Community Care can
exclusively reveal.

A survey of staff in three-star social services departments finds
that only half received rewards or extra perks for achieving the
highest possible rating, with a vast disparity in levels of

Workers at Wandsworth Council in London were bowled over when told
each member of staff would be entitled to claim £2.50 as a
reward for the three-star rating. “We haven’t decided how to spend
ours yet,” one said.

In Bolton, social work teams were offered a choice of either a box
of chocolates or packet of biscuits as congratulations.

Derbyshire social workers received a letter of thanks from their
social services director, while Blackburn with Darwen showed it was
far more hi-tech by sending its message of thanks by e-mail.
Blackburn also treated staff to a working lunch, where they
discussed strategy and service developments.

Front-line staff at Kent social services also received a letter of
thanks from director of social services Peter Gilroy, but this was
made all the more sweeter as it was accompanied by a £150

Those demonstrating “exceptional” quality in their work also
received theatre tickets and meals at restaurants.

Social care staff at Kingston upon Thames, Westminster and East
Sussex – which jumped from zero to two stars – were rewarded with
an extra day’s holiday.

Meanwhile, Kensington and Chelsea Council threw “celebratory
events”, and social care staff at Knowsley were given a free lunch
attended by the social services director or cabinet member.

Staff at Kirklees, Leicestershire and Sunderland received no extra
rewards, while Newcastle Council was still undecided.

North Lincolnshire, Cornwall and Bexley Councils were unavailable
for comment.

The 2002-3 star ratings saw an improvement in performance across
social services, with the number of three-star councils rising from
11 to 16 (news, page 6, 13 November).

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