‘Pay scales needed’ to halt Welsh crisis

National pay scales for social workers, or a series of regional
ones, could be developed to tackle Wales’s recruitment crisis, the
long-awaited report into the Welsh social services workforce

The existing situation, where 22 local authorities try to outbid
each other for a finite number of social workers, is “unworkable
and difficult to justify”, says the report published this week.

The report, written by Tony Garthwaite, chair of the Association of
Directors of Social Services Wales workforce committee, also shows
vacancy rates ran at 14.8 per cent last year.

Nearly one in five children’s social worker posts remained
unfilled, while the turnover rate of staff was 15 per cent.

The report says setting a national pay scale will be difficult. It
suggests that, until one is agreed, councils should bring all basic
social worker pay rates up to a minimum of £22,265 and maximum
of £29,004 for the most effective professionals.

The most experienced and qualified could rise to a top salary of
£30,747, the report recommends.

It estimates the cost of implementing these measures would be about
£4.25m a year and says the Welsh assembly would need to help
fund them.

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