Royal Borough social worker replacement policy slammed

A SOCIAL worker has slammed the Royal Borough’s plans to replace employees with agency staff as the deadline for controversial new council contracts looms.

The social worker, who did not want to be named, predicted a ‘mass exodus’ of staff who have yet to sign the contracts issued after the council pulled out of nationally-agreed terms and conditions.

Staff have been threatened with ‘dismissal and re-engagement’ if they do not sign by Friday next week.

The Royal Borough has announced plans to replace social care employees who do not sign with agency staff.

The concerned mother-of-four, who has worked for the council for four years, told The Observer: “By recruiting agency staff there are concerns that knowing they are on short/long term contracts they know at some point they will be moving on and as such have no vested interest in the job that they do.

“I have worked with many [agency staff] who have shown a real commitment and passion for the job, but I have also met many who will only “work to rule”.”

A council spokesman said: “While the council does not envisage an increase in agency staff, those that it does require come from an agency which has been assessed against a number of strict criteria including quality and compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements.

“All social workers providing services to residents in the Royal Borough are qualified and committed to the highest standards of care which is overseen by their supervisor.”