Most people probably missed this because as always this issue didn’t seem to be widely discussed. However, if you want to have a dedicated, committed and well-trained workforce you shouldn’t be undervaluing and treating the current workforce badly. Although this report is about the situation in Scotland it’s just as relevant to the whole of the UK and quite probably much of Europe and the Rest of the World
On 26th February 2019 the Fair Work Convention in Scotland published its report Fair Work in Scotland’s Social Care Sector 2019.
The report calls for urgent interventions by policy makers, commissioners and leaders in the social care sector to improve the quality of work and employment for the 200,000 strong workforce in Scotland. The social care workforce represents 7.7% of the total workforce – about 82% of them women. They include home care workers, residential carers, social workers, nurses and childcare staff.
The report highlights that many people are on precarious contracts in a sector in which they have little power or influence. Women told the Convention team that they enjoy being involved in people’s lives and like that they make a positive difference. However, society needs to value social care as a profession.
There is considerable use of zero-hours contracts, underemployment and seasonal contracts. The report says that staff also frequently worked beyond contracted hours and did unpaid overtime.
The convention, which advises the Scottish Government, called for a watchdog to monitor working conditions and draft a “fair work” contract. It also needs to take urgent action to bring about a radical overhaul of social care and to use fair work principles to drive high-quality services for some of our most vulnerable people.
This report goes on to makes recommendations about how to realise fair work for social care workers by setting out what policy makers, commissioners and leaders in Scotland’s social care sector can and should do.
The 18-month study was led by the chief executive of Alzheimer Scotland Henry Simmons and Lilian Macer from Unison.
To download and read the report go to https://www.fairworkconvention.scot/our-report-on-fair-work-in-social-care/
You might also want to look at the following report from the Scottish Social Services Council
The Scottish Social Service Sector: Report on 2017 Workforce Data, An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland
Let’s hope that this report and the work of the convention will start to change the situation in Scotland at least.