Number of part-time social work roles dwindling

According to Social Work England, less than three-quarters of social work roles are being offered on a part-time basis. 

Out of the job adverts studied by the SWU, just 23% were part-time or flexible – this marks an 18.7% increase from a similar study conducted last year. 

On the other hand, nearly 80% of the social work roles posted were full-time.

The union is urging employers to boost the number of part-time positions to encourage more social workers to return to work, who otherwise may not be able to do so on a full-time basis. 

It is hoped this move will help tackle ongoing staffing shortages in the health and social care sector. 

The study was led by Community Care, Total Jobs and The Guardian on 20 April and 18 May and looked at a total of 4,694 job listings. 

SWU national organiser Carol Reid said it was “encouraging to start to see some green shoots of progress in some areas of the country”.

“However, with recruitment for social workers still proving challenging for employers, we now need to see this support for the aims of the campaign translate into more concerted action and more roles offered on part-time or flexible hours contracts,” she added.

“The growth we have seen is sluggish at best and we’re also hearing worrying reports that not all roles advertised as part-time are really suitable to part-time applicants.”

Deb Solomon, Derbyshire social worker and chair of the British Association of Social Workers’ Neurodivergent Social Workers Special Interest Group, said: “We must move away from the idea that social workers going part-time is a negative development or an accommodation for someone who isn’t coping.

“Flexibility is essential to retain staff with protected characteristics and boost workforce opportunities for development. For example, some neurodivergent staff can really benefit from part-time working, and the positives can be seen in productivity, retention and wellbeing.”

She added: “We also need to ensure that when part-time roles are offered, this is not just a full-time role squashed into fewer days, which is impossible for the post-holder to manage.”

Here at Social Personnel, we offer temporary, permanent and contract social work roles. Get in touch with the team on 0203 8929 340 today to find out more about our current opportunities!

carlette Isaac

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *