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Wales lost more than half a century in sick days last year, according to new workforce report

Social care in Wales lost the equivalent of more than half a century in sick days last year, according to a new report.

The Social Care Wales 2022 workforce data report reveals that across the sector, some 214,941 days – equivalent to 588 years – were lost to sickness.

Commenting CEO Sue Evans said: “The high vacancy rate is putting further strain on a sector that’s already under pressure because of increasing demand for social care services, and this in turn means citizens are having to wait longer for advice, assessments and support.”  

The report notes that across the Welsh adult care home sector, the size of the workforce has dropped by just over 4.5 per cent in a year. However, there has been a small rise in the number of workers willing to work full-time.

The data report estimates a total adult residential care workforce in Wales in 2022 of 29,100 – 1,431 or 4.6 per cent less than in 2021.

Women occupy slightly more adult residential care roles than we’d see across the whole social care workforce in Wales and the predominant age group is 46-55 years old.

In adult residential care, the proportion of black or black British, and Asian or Asian British workers is higher than in the general population of Wales. But compared to last year, the diversity of the adult residential care workforce has fallen (2021: 3.0 per cent black, 7.8 per cent Asian and 1.1 per cent mixed)

In total, an estimated 84,134 people work in the social care sector in Wales, 35 per cent of whom work in adult residential care.

Some 80 per cent of the workforce is employed on a permanent contract and during the year across the whole sector there was a net addition of 226 workers. Some 5,323 vacancies were recorded, which makes up nine per cent of the total workforce.

Some 29 per cent of the workforce has some Welsh language ability.    

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