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

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

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

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