Quarter of social care staff on zero hours contracts

Around a quarter of the workforce in social care were on a zero-hours contract. Meanwhile the adult social care sector contributed an estimated £41.8 billion to the English economy reveals ‘The State of the adult social care sector and workforce’ report published by Skills for Care.

The report also reveals that the workforce continued to grow. The number of adult social care jobs was estimated to have increased by around 1.5% (20,000) between 2015 and 2016 with the number of adult social care jobs in England as at 2016 estimated at 1.58 million and the number of people working in adult social care estimated at 1.45 million.

Other findings the annual survey include:

  • Skills for Care estimates that the staff turnover rate of directly employed staff working in the adult social care sector was 27.8%.
  • Approximately two thirds of new starters were recruited from within the adult social care sector, therefore the sector retains their skills and experience.
  • Skills for Care estimates that 6.6% of the roles in adult social care are vacant, this gives an average of approximately 90,000 vacancies at any one time.
  • The average age of a worker was 43 years old and a fifth (305,000 jobs) were aged over 55 years old.
  • The majority (83%) of the adult social care workforce were British, 7% (95,000 jobs) had an EU nationality and 9% (125,000 jobs) a non-EU nationality.
  • Since the introduction of the mandatory National Living Wage care workers pay in the independent sector has increased at a higher rate than previous years. Pay increased by 28p (3.8%) between 2015/16 and 2016/17, before the introduction of the NLW the pay had increased by an average of 12p per year between 2011/12 and 2015/16.

Skills for Care CEO Sharon Allen said: “There is no doubt that adult social care faces some really challenging times ahead and if we are to meet them head on then we need to make informed decisions based on the sort of quality data and analysis this detailed report provides.”

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