Employers should pay for social worker registration, Unison says

    Unison is advising its members to delay registering with the
    UK’s social care councils until it resolves a dispute over
    who should pay fees, writes Sally Gillen.

    Stephen Smillie, chair of the social work issues
    group in Scotland, said the pubic sector union was pushing for
    employers to pay the £30 annual registration cost.

    Owen Davies, national government officer, said the union had
    persuaded around of half of Welsh local authorities to pay at least
    the first year’s fee for social workers but some had committed to
    meeting the cost permanently.

    But in England just a “trickle” of councils had agreed
    to pay the fee, including Tower Hamlets and Bristol local
    authorities.

    Davies said: “Unison has put in a pay claim for registration
    fees with the National Joint Council so that individual social
    workers will pay the fee and then employers should provide
    recompense. But they are prevaricating about giving an
    answer.”

    He added that he hoped the issue would be sorted out at a meeting
    next week. “Our advice is to delay registering and that is
    building problems for the General Social Care Council because it
    will cause a backlog.”

    Unison is also pushing for the UK’s social care councils to
    provide a definition of a social worker’s role so that the
    protection of title, which comes in next year, will be
    workable.

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