How much social workers spend on car parking

Thousands of social workers could be spending £1,400 or more a year on car parking

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Community Care’s recent car parking survey received responses from over 2,200 social workers, approximately 4% of England’s social worker population*. As part of the survey we asked social workers to tell us how much they spent per week on car parking to do their jobs.

Almost 1 in 4 of the 1,990 respondents based in England reported spending at least £16 a week on car parking to do their job – with many telling us they spend more than this. Taking the best case scenario among these respondents, £16 a week equates to spending approximately £752 on car parking per year (calculated on a 47-week working year).

The potential cost to the entire workforce when the findings are extrapolated make for stark reading. For example, the potential cost to 7.5% of England’s social workers could be £5.3 million a year. Applied across the 1 in 4 spending at least £16 a week, that could mean 24% of the social work workforce collectively spending over £12 million a year to park their cars.

Breaking our findings down further, 7.6% of our survey respondents reported spending between £21 and £30 a week on parking. The lowest end of that bracket (£21), would leave a social worker £987 out of pocket on parking over the course of a 47-week working year, at £30 it would be £1,410 a year.

A similar proportion (7.5%) told us they spend more than £30 a week on car parking to do their job.

Reported spend on  car parking per week Percentage of survey respondents Potential amount spent per year Potential number of social workers paying this amount across entire workforce Approximate annual cost to the workforce
£0-5 43.7 up to £235 21,839 £5.1 million (max)
£6-10 18.3 £282-£470 9,145 £2.6 million (min)
£11-15 13.5 £517-£705 6,747 £3.5 million (min)
£16-20 9.5 £752-£940 4,748 £3.6 million (min)
£21-30 7.6 £987-£1,410 3,798 £3.7 million (min)
More than £30 7.5 £1,410+ 3,748 £5.3 million (min)

*This figure was arrived at by adding the Full Time Equivalent local authority and agency children’s social workers in the government’s children’s social work workforce statistics to the number of adults’ social workers estimated to be employed by local authorities by NHS Digital. Both figures were from datasets published in February 2019.

Update: this article was updated on 14th March to correct the figures, after responses from social workers outside of England had been included in the percentages. 

Read more about our hotdesking and car parking research:






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