Council considers financial incentives to prevent staffing shortages

Committee councillors will be asked to agree to an investment of £302,000 for the retention payment scheme in 2022/23

Committee councillors will be asked to agree to an investment of £302,000 for the retention payment scheme in 2022/23 and a further £152,000 in 2023/24. - Credit: PA

Financial incentives to try and keep people working in adult social care in Cambridgeshire are being considered in order to prevent staffing shortages. 

Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC) is in view of introducing a retention payment scheme for adult social workers, where it is seeing a high turnover of staff. 

Under the scheme, social workers will receive a total of 20% of their starting salary paid as three non-consolidates incremental payments over three years, followed by a fixed payment after that. 

Team managers will receive a fixed payment each year following one year’s service. 

The teams planned to be covered by the payment scheme are: older people and physical disability, mental health, transfer of care team, learning disability partnership and 0-25 including young adults' team and children’s disability services. 

In a report produced ahead of an adults and health committee meeting next week (January 13), it said that some teams had reached vacancy levels of 32%. 

The report said: “The impact of turnover in teams is significant, causing backlogs and delays to allocate services to meet needs early and prevent escalation. 

Most Read

“It also puts additional pressure on social workers in the service, with high case-loads, resulting in reduced job satisfaction and stress and on occasion, sickness and absences.” 

The report continued: “When a vacancy is created there is often a gap whilst recruitment is undertaken, resulting in delays to casework being undertaken which leads to increased risks and cost.” 

Committee councillors will be asked to agree to an investment of £302,000 for the scheme in 2022/23 and a further £152,000 in 2023/24. 

The county council has already introduced a retention payment scheme for its children’s social workers. 

CCC reported in November last year that staffing levels in its children’s services had reached a “critically low level”. 

The report said that opting not to implement the scheme for adult social workers will likely lead to an increased staff turnover. 

It said this would result in “ever increasing” agency social worker costs and a reduced quality of service, and would also expose the county council to a “considerable level of risk.” 

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter