Wages bill tops a billion pounds

The wage bill for social workers and managers rose to more than £1bn in the year ending September 2004, according to the social services workforce analysis 2004.

Meanwhile the gap between pay for adult and children’s social workers has widened over the past three years.

The average pay for a children’s social worker was £24,487 a year, while social workers working in adult services earned on average £25,135, this compares with £21,086 and £21,128 respectively in 2001.

Average salaries in London were higher than the rest of England and Wales – up to £6,000 more in some cases. For example, a children’s social worker earned on average £28,771 in London, which fell to £23,605 in the Eastern region. Adult services social workers earned an average £30,030 in London, which fell to £24,272 in the Eastern region.

The South East was the next highest area with adult social workers earning £25,331 and children’s earning £24,612. See regional map here

How does this compare with previous years?
In 2001, no region outside the South East paid more than £21,000 a year for children’s or adult services social workers. In the south east social workers were paid just under £22,000, while in London the salary was about £25,000 for adult services social workers and £24,500 for children’s social workers. Despite the pressures on children’s services and the raft of initiatives and legislation in adult services pays better by more than a £1,000 in London.

The overall pay bill for social work staff, care mangers and team leaders was about £1.127bn with social workers accounting for more than £600m. Out of the total figure, the children services pay bill was about £30m more than adult services.

Nearly £5m was made in additional payments to social workers such as market supplements, job regradings, career progression schemes and “golden hellos”. This was particularly prevalent among children’s social workers. However it was noticeable that for all the talk of reforming the workforce and bringing in market ideas there were no instances of performance-related pay.

Average Pay for other staff included:
• Team leaders in children’s and adults’ services received £32,501 and £31,950 per year respectively.
• Assistant team leaders and senior social workers in children’s and adults’ services received £29,655 and £29,003 respectively.
• Care managers in children’s services received £25,318 per year while care managers working in adults’ services received on average £24,686.

Source: Social services workforce analysis main report 2004 from www. lg-employers.gov.uk

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