New figures from the Social Care Index have shown that the use of temporary social care workers in local authorities has increased in the last quarter.
The Comensura Social Care Index has shown that usage of temporary social care workers by local authorities increased by nearly 7% when comparing the period between July and September 2013 to the same period in 2014.
The use of social care contractors has been put down to increased budget constraints combined with a limited talent pool; qualified temporary social care workers are able to step in as and when needed, managing difficult case loads without need for extensive training and supervision.
Temporary social care workers are also being used to cover vacant posts and aid with the increasing caseloads that qualified social workers face.
The Index shows that typically local authorities are seeking those with proven experience, with a 15.6% growth in the engagement of those workers aged between 45 and 54. Only 1.1% of these workers were under 24 years of age, but there was a 15.5% increase in usage across the two periods – an encouraging sign for younger contractors.
Another important finding was that 90.2% of all temporary qualified social workers were operating with a limited employment status – an increase of 23.7% on the previous year. However, the majority of unqualified workers are still employed as PAYE.
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