Government to clamp down on social workers’ diets to improve productivity

Ministers believe the key to solving burnout, high caseloads and turnover lies in enforcing a reduction in the sugary content eaten by frontline social workers

Photo: Vadym/Fotolia

The government has said it will regulate the food eaten by social workers in a bid to improve wellbeing under shock plans tabled this week.

Ministers believe the key to solving burnout, high caseloads and turnover lies in enforcing a reduction in the sugary content eaten by frontline social workers.

The plans, announced by the minister for not letting you have nice things, Peter Ian Staker, said this was the government acting to improve social work working conditions.

“We’ve read the results of employee surveys, been on visits, and have concluded that this is the most evidence-based way to improve social work productivity,” Staker explained.

He added the move came after he witnessed social workers taking a break from work to wish a colleague happy birthday over some red velvet cake.

“It is clear to us that eating the worst of the cakes named after the worst of the textures is harming productivity and wellbeing.”

‘Drowsy time’

The government believes the plans will put an end to the 3pm-4pm ‘drowsy time’ where the combination of tea and cake make social workers less efficient and is thus causing a pile up in caseloads.

“We can see no other reason for the increase in demand and must look at ways to improve effectiveness through diets.”

Industry experts have said the move could ruin local supermarkets, who rely on social workers buying sugary treats to get through the day for 87% of their revenue.

Fruit will also be hit by the plans, Staker explained, as his diet tracker had informed him apples were high in sugar.

“It is clear that flavour is the enemy of productivity, and we must find evidence-based ways to prevent that.”

Plans for a new research centre focused on social work eating habits were also unveiled by Staker. Its role will be to evaluate the evidence of what foods do and don’t improve productivity and come to no clear conclusions about it, Staker explained.

He added how £4 million will be invested in ‘WaistLine’, a social work training provider targeting people who didn’t like sugar in a bid to bring the “best and the lightest” into the profession.

April Loof, head of the UK Association of Social Workers, said it would consult with its members over the plans but refused to criticise the government’s policy.

“Who likes red velvet cake, honestly? Why say it’s ‘just chocolate’ and then not just buy a chocolate cake? Also, Janine from the policy department brought in ginger nuts as a ‘treat’ and I’ve come to the view people just can’t be trusted to feed themselves anymore.”

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35 Responses to Government to clamp down on social workers’ diets to improve productivity

  1. Harvey Campbell April 1, 2019 at 9:19 am #

    Old Loofy, up to her usual tricks, colluding with the Government. Shocking behaviour today of all days!

  2. Peter April 1, 2019 at 10:25 am #

    How will it be regulated? Will someone sit with them at home to see what they eat? Lol.

  3. Kevin April 1, 2019 at 11:03 am #

    This must be an April Fools joke

    • Annette April 1, 2019 at 12:50 pm #

      Must be… Ludicrous otherwise

    • Maz mchale April 1, 2019 at 2:32 pm #

      Lol my thoughts exactly kevin! 🙃 I had a bloody good laugh at this. Bloody cheek.

  4. Mzuzile Nqabeni April 1, 2019 at 11:17 am #

    utter disrespect of social workers. all we need is support in terms resources availability and an enabling environment to fully and freely perform our duties….. but that’s not in my surprise…. because it reminds me who is the majority in social work practice “women” one category of human species that there are still people who believe their terms should be dictated……

    • C. Haselau April 1, 2019 at 11:51 am #

      April’s Fool joke!!

  5. Dora Gouveia-Schofield April 1, 2019 at 11:27 am #

    Love it😂 the best of April’s fool day.

  6. Heather Pritchard April 1, 2019 at 11:28 am #

    April Fool!,

    But not impossible….

    But on a more serious note,

    Sugary snacks sustain when pressured workers often have no time for anything else

  7. Miss C April 1, 2019 at 12:30 pm #

    The “Minister for not letting you have nice things” lol!

    • Ruth April 1, 2019 at 8:44 pm #

      I know! I love it!!!

  8. kim Hartwell April 1, 2019 at 12:37 pm #

    I’ve been listening to the government over recent years and I keep thinking ‘it must be a joke’ only like on ground hog day, the same stuff keeps being circulated.

    Initially I believed that one of them could have come up with this and, I’m still not convinced otherwise.

  9. A Man Called Horse April 1, 2019 at 12:44 pm #

    The Government have decided to love Social Workers in 2019

    1. Austerity to end today. All Social Workers to receive back dated payments after the Bankers decided it was time to make amends for their crimes against society.

    2. Hot Desking to end

    3. Social Workers pay to rise at twice the rate of inflation for the next five years to make good the theft of their income by the Tory Government.

    4. Pension Reforms from 2014 unfair Government to reinstate final Salary Pension Scheme.
    5. Pay Rises in Line with MPs starting with 10%

    • Lorna April 1, 2019 at 5:57 pm #

      If I had read what you have just written then I’d definitely know for sure it was an April fools joke 😂

    • @ponywoman April 2, 2019 at 11:45 am #

      A man called horse. Can we have this for Foster Care Workers too?

  10. Naseem April 1, 2019 at 1:05 pm #

    April food 🍲 day.
    If Government really wants to help SWk then stream line the management so money can be spent to employ front line staff.

  11. Taberah Baiss April 1, 2019 at 1:26 pm #


  12. P. Simo April 1, 2019 at 2:25 pm #

    Mr P I Staker 😂

  13. Penny Hajek April 1, 2019 at 2:43 pm #

    Great April fool🍰🎂🍰

  14. Stephanie April 1, 2019 at 3:20 pm #

    Fantastic!! I always look out for your April fools joke every year and this is just brilliant ! Thank you for making my smile 🙂

  15. Tom J April 1, 2019 at 4:42 pm #

    When I read that the cost of social work accreditation (NAAS) was going to be £23 million pounds* with much of it going to Consultancy Firms and at a time of austerity everywhere: I was sure it must have been April Fools!


  16. Alicia Wright April 1, 2019 at 4:43 pm #

    Ok…we need to vote! …… Cake.. Job… I vote CAKE!!

    and Mzuzile Nqabeni you are in sooooo much trouble!!

    • Lola April 1, 2019 at 7:38 pm #

      Me too..cake it is.

    • Rukhsana K April 1, 2019 at 8:14 pm #

      Perfectly agree with the government!!!!!! Red velvet cake is overrated.. Too funny well done community care.. I was galf way down before it occurred to me, what day!.

  17. Lola April 1, 2019 at 7:37 pm #

    You must be joking. Invest the 4 million into increasing sw force which will decrease caseload. Which as a result increase performance and wellbeing.
    People that spent time on researches of this nature have nothing better to do.

  18. Yas April 1, 2019 at 9:54 pm #

    This minister clearly hasn’t got a clue. How about reducing caseloads and make it a manageable workload.

  19. Trudi wimpenny April 1, 2019 at 10:03 pm #

    Ok, very funny April fool joke – haha

  20. Lisa April 1, 2019 at 10:18 pm #

    “April Loof”!!!!! Lol!!!!!!
    This is today’s best joke! Thanks for making me laugh!

  21. Precious April 1, 2019 at 10:22 pm #

    Best April fools day ever

  22. Ms K A MURRAY April 2, 2019 at 12:40 am #

    The government cant control themselves re budgetary constraints and transferring blame onto others . Avoidant behaviour and transference of blame onto genuine workers. Narcassistic ideologies. Trying to control others from their mismanagement strategies. They won’t be able to see or accept their failures and misgivings and the fact they can’t accept that noone else will be able to enforce their acceptance of blame . Social workers are genuine real individuals with real feelings and invidualities. A valuable contribution to today’s society. Britain is a democratic country with free speech independent thoughts choices etc It’s not a communistic country. The uk care act 2014. Independence choice respect dignity privacy and choice and safety . Are they going to take away independent thoughts negating individual choices thereby denying respect . The government are the ones losing their dignity by failing to accept each of our own unique individual identities . Time for change .

  23. Sharon Brown April 2, 2019 at 9:41 am #

    April fool joke 🙂

  24. Sharee April 2, 2019 at 11:41 am #

    This have to be a joke ha ha ha

  25. Josephine April 2, 2019 at 11:49 am #

    Whilst this was funny, particularly as we laughed at a colleague who was cross about ‘this new Government policy’ in the office today (02/04), our employer has just done a consultation about not allowing unhealthy snacks in the office for shared snack tables or bring and share lunches. You can bet your life that in social care we filled in the consultation with brutal honesty. The funniest bit was the statement that they did not want to be known as ‘the food police’! Bring on the contraband biscuits and black market sweets; it will make them all the more delicious.

  26. Jane April 4, 2019 at 1:29 pm #

    This haha

  27. Jo April 6, 2019 at 11:56 am #

    Best april fool joke ever. Still la