Social workers forced to take second jobs to keep heads above water

About 40% of social care professionals have a second job and most are considering leaving the sector because of poor pay levels, an exclusive survey by Personnel Today’s sister title Community Care has revealed.

The poll of 1,785 practitioners, almost half of whom were social workers or senior social workers, showed 36% were always overdrawn at the end of the month and 67% had debts other than a mortgage.

Overall, 20% earned less than £25,000 a year and just 9% earned more than £40,000 a year.

More than 70% felt they did not receive a fair wage, with even 61% of directors and heads of department holding this view.

Ian Johnston, chief executive of the British Association of Social Workers, said: “I’m not surprised because, in a way, the level of pay and remuneration and terms and conditions are not commensurate with the demands of the job.”

The survey also revealed the extent of the gender pay gap in the sector. Overall, double the number of men earned more than women. Just 6% of women took home more than £40,000.

The survey’s results came as sector skills council Skills for Care published a report on the adult social care workforce showing that social workers earned 84% of the average weekly wage for professionals in the UK.

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