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National Statistics
Publication, Part of

Personal Social Services: Staff of Social Services Departments, England 2019

National statistics
Publication Date:
Geographic Coverage:
England
Geographical Granularity:
Local Authorities, Councils with Adult Social Services Responsibilities (CASSRs)
Date Range:
01 Oct 2018 to 30 Sep 2019

Organisational level analysis

When completing the ASC-WDS, local authorities provide information on both the organisation as a whole, as well as more detailed information regarding individual workers.

This section of the publication concentrates on information about the characteristics of adult social services departments within local authorities, including statistics on the number of jobs, starters, leavers, vacancy rates and the employment status of their staff.

Measuring the number of jobs

This publication predominantly discusses the total number of jobs in adult social services departments within local authorities. Two additional estimated values, Headcount (or the number of people) and Whole Time Equivalent, are also used. For further information on how these values are calculated, please see the data quality section later in the publication.

Jobs refers to the number of roles within a local authority recorded on ASC-WDS (not including vacancies)

Headcount refers to the number of people employed by the local authority who hold these jobs. This measure accounts for situations were an individual may hold more than one job

WTE or Whole Time Equivalent is calculated by dividing the number of working hours by 37 – so a person who works part time at 18.5 hours a week would be represented as 0.5 WTE. Anyone with more than 37 working hours is treated as one WTE.

Image for infographic In September 2019, within adult social care departments in local authorities:
In September 2019, within adult social care departments in local authorities:

- There were 113,300 Jobs

- These jobs were held by 109,600 People

- Based on working hours, this equated to 92,400 jobs

Total number of jobs, headcount and WTE jobs

As can be seen in Figure 2.1, jobs, headcount and WTE jobs within adult social services departments in local authorities have all shown a steady decrease each year between 2011 and 2017. In 2019 there was a year on year increase for the second year in a row; this is now broadly comparable with 2016 levels.

At local authority level the increase in 2019 is seen in more than half, with 51.7% (77 of 149 like for like local authorities) reporting an increase in the total number of jobs from September 2018 to September 2019. The change in the number of jobs between 2018 and 2019 ranged from an increase of 500 to a decrease of 200.

This overall decreasing trend in jobs within local authorities is part of a wider pattern whereby jobs within local authorities have been decreasing, but jobs in the independent sector have been increasing, as reported by Skills for Care. Information on the number of jobs in 2019 in the independent sector, and the rest of the adult social care workforce, will be available from Skills for Care later in 2020.

WTE calculation

In 2018 the methodology for the WTE calculation has been improved to demonstrate more clearly contracted hours worked. Previously the calculation was based on the highest of either contracted or additional hours worked for the last 7 days of the reporting period. In 2018 the calculation used contracted hours where known, otherwise additional hours. In 2019 the calculation used contracted hours where known, otherwise average hours. Previous years data has been recalculated using this improved methodology.

Download the data for this chart Figure 2.1: Total number of adult social services jobs in local authorities, headcount and WTE jobs, September 2011 to September 2019

Source: Skills for Care - ASC-WDS - See Table 1 in Reference Data Tables

The total number of jobs was 113,300 as at September 2019. This figure has decreased by 46,100 jobs (28.9%) since 2011 and increased by 1,000 jobs (0.9%) since 2018.

Headcount has increased by 1.1% to 109,600 and WTE jobs have increased by 0.7% to 92,400 over the same period (September 2018 to September 2019).

Image for infographic Nationally, 92,400 WTE jobs equates to an estimated 3.4 million hours worked per week by adult social care staff within local authorities, up 25,000 hours since last year.
Nationally, 92,400 WTE jobs equates to an estimated 3.4 million hours worked per week by adult social care staff within local authorities, up 25,000 hours since last year.

In 2019 the ratio of WTE jobs to total jobs was 0.8, reflecting the full-time nature of many adult social services jobs. A higher ratio (closer to 1) indicates a high proportion of jobs having working hours of at least 37 hours a week. This ratio has been the same since 2011.

The total headcount figure of 109,600 at September 2019 shows that there were a relatively small number of people that were carrying out more than one adult social services job. There were 103 jobs per 100 people on average, this compares with 104 jobs per 100 people in September 2018.

Reasons for the change in the number of jobs

Local authorities were asked to provide reasons for increases and decreases in the number of jobs reported this year compared to the previous year. In addition to providing reasons for changes in total jobs, local authorities were also asked for any other comments they wanted to make, including any structural changes that might not have affected the total number of jobs but the types of jobs within the local authority. Free text responses from local authorities were independently coded and verified by NHS Digital and Skills for Care.

Table 2.2: Reasons for differences in the total number of jobs between 2018 and 2019

Reason for changes in total jobs2

Number of Local Authorities1

% of 151 LAs

No information

58

38%

Restructure

45

30%

Small numbers

35

23%

Closures

18

12%

Reduction in agency / causal staff

14

9%

Increase in agency / causal staff

13

9%

Recruitment / filling vacancies

13

9%

Data quality issues affecting last years data

12

8%

Not filling / unfilled vacancies 

12

8%

Natural turnover, resignations and retirement

7

5%

Insourcing

4

3%

Redundancy

3

2%

Data quality issues affecting this years data

2

1%

Budget cuts

2

1%

Outsourcing

2

1%

Additional funding

1

1%

Increase in apprentices

1

1%

1Based on all 151 local authorities

2Local authorities can name more than one reason for changes in their total number of jobs

Source: Skills for Care - ASC-WDS - Reasons for Change Table

Table 2.2 above shows a breakdown of the responses local authorities provided for these queries. The most commonly stated reason for changes, accounting for both increases and decreases in the number of jobs was restructure, although other common responses were small numbers, closures, and increases or reduction in agency or casual staff.

When looking at the responses from just those local authorities which had an increase in the number of jobs between 2018 and 2019, small numbers, restructure, recruitment or filling vacancies and increase in agency or casual staff were amongst the most commonly stated reason for the changes.

Number of jobs by Job Role

Local authorities provided the number of jobs split by a set list of 35 job roles. During the analysis stage, Skills for Care grouped these job roles into four job group categories; Direct care, Manager / Supervisor, Professional and Other (please refer to Appendix B for a list of job roles mapped to job role group).

In 2019, local authorities reported that there were 113,250 jobs in total (rounded to 113,300 for ease of reading). The data used for job role specific analysis is based on 113,235 (rounded to 113,200 for ease of reading) individual worker records submitted by local authorities. Therefore, headline figures are reported using 113,300 jobs, whereas further analysis from this point forward is based on 113,200 jobs.

Table 2.3: Total number of adult social services jobs, by job role group

Year All job roles Direct care Manager/ Supervisor Professional  Other
20111 159,400 89,100 22,700 19,800 27,800
20122 150,700 83,100 21,700 20,000 25,900
20132 140,700 75,100 20,200 20,400 25,000
20142 130,100 68,600 18,700 19,100 23,800
20152 120,200 60,800 18,000 19,300 22,100
20162 112,800 55,800 17,200 19,200 20,600
20172 109,300 52,800 17,100 19,400 20,000
20182 112,200 52,800 17,600 20,400 21,500
20193 113,200 52,500 17,300 21,100 22,400
           
n change 2018-2019 1,000 -300 -300 700 900
% change 2018-2019 0.9% -0.6% -1.7% 3.3% 4.4
n change 2011-2019 -46,100 -36,700 -5,400 1,300 -5,400
% change 2011-2019 -29.0% -41.1% -23.8% 6.8% -19.5%

12011 based on 138 local authorities (14 were estimated).

22012 - 2018 based on all 152 local authorities confirming their total number of jobs.

32019 based on all 151 local authorities confirming their total number of jobs.

Number may not sum due to rounding.

Source: Skills for Care - ASC-WDS - See Table 2 in Reference Data Tables and previous NMDS-SC Publications

 

Table 2.3 above shows that the change in the number of adult social services jobs, both between 2011 and 2019 and between 2018 and 2019, has not been evenly distributed in terms of jobs roles.

Image for infographic 46.3%
46.3%

of All Job Roles within local authorities were in Direct Care

In 2019 around half of jobs (52,500 or 46.3%) were in direct care providing roles, and although total jobs increased between 2018 and 2019, direct care was one of two job groups which decreased over this period (the other being manager / supervisor). Whilst jobs in direct care reduced by just 0.6% (300 jobs) between 2018 and 2019, this job role group has decreased overall by the most since 2011 (41.1% or 36,700 jobs).

Since 2011, all job role groups have decreased except for the Professional group which is the only group to have seen an increase over this period. In 2019 there were 21,100 jobs in the Professional job group which is the highest on record.

Both the Professional and Other job role groups have seen an increase in jobs since 2018, with the Other job role group increasing by the most (4.4% or 900 jobs). Other job role group includes the following job roles: Administrative or office staff not care-providing, Ancillary staff not care-providing, Other non-care-providing job roles, Activities worker or co-ordinator, Occupational therapist assistant, Assessment officer, Care co-ordinator, Care navigator.

As seen in Figure 2.4 below, within local authorities there has been a gradual proportional shift away from direct care providing roles (55.9% in 2011 to 46.3% in 2019) into the other three job role groups. The Professional group has seen the largest proportion change, increasing from 12.4% in 2011 to 18.6% in 2019.

Download the data for this chart Figure 2.4: Adult social services jobs by job role group as a proportion of all jobs, by year

Source: Skills for Care - ASC-WDS - See Table 2 in Reference Data Tables and previous NMDS-SC Publications

 

Figure 2.5 shows the percentage change of the number of jobs generally decreasing from 2011 with direct care jobs falling 41.1% (36,700 jobs) by 2019. In contrast the rate of change for the Professional job group has been much less and in 2019 is 6.8% (1,300 jobs) above the 2011 baseline, compared to a decrease of 29.0% (46,100 jobs) for all job roles. Both Manager / Supervisor and Other job role groups have both fallen by around a fifth between 2011 and 2019 (23.8% and 19.5% respectively).

Download the data for this chart Figure 2.5: Percentage change in adult social services jobs, by job role group from 2011 (baseline)

Source: Skills for Care - ASC-WDS - See Table 2 in Reference Data Tables and previous NMDS-SC Publications

As at September 2019, within the local authority sector there were 21,100 jobs in the Professional job role group, this was predominantly made up of social workers jobs (17,400 or 82.6%). The number of social workers has increased slightly, by 400 jobs since September 2018.

Of the estimated 21,000 social worker jobs across the whole adult social care sector, including independent and the NHS, 82.9% are employed by the local authorities. In contrast local authority jobs only made up 6.9% of all adult social care jobs as at September 2018 (Skills for Care, 2019).

Table 2.6: Total number of local authority adult social services jobs as a proportion of all sector adult social services jobs, by job role group, 2018-2019

Job role group (job role) All Sectors (as at Sept 2018)1 Local Authority (as at Sept 2019) Local Authrity jobs as a proportion of all sector jobs
All job roles 1,620,000 113,200 7.0%
     Direct care 1,227,000 52,500 4.3%
     Manager/ Supervisor 118,000 17,300 14.7%
     Professional 84,000 21,100 25.0%
             (social worker) 21,000 17,400 82.9%
     Other 189,000 22,400 11.8%

Source: Skills for Care - ASC-WDS - See Table 2 in Reference Data Tables and Skills for Care Size and structure of the adult social care sector publication

1All Sector 2018 data includes the latest local authority data as at September 2019
 

Number of jobs by Service Group

Adult social care jobs are categorised by the 26 care service types offered. For the purposes of analysis these care services are then grouped into five main service groups; Adult Residential Care, Adult Day Care, Adult Domiciliary Care, Adult Community Care and Other Care Service (please refer to Appendix C for a mapping of care service to service group). Figure 2.7 shows the 2016 to 2019 breakdown of local authority adult social services jobs by main service group which describes the care setting for local authority staff.

Download the data for this chart Figure 2.7: Number of adult social services jobs, by service group, 2016-2019

Source: Skills for Care - ASC-WDS - See Table 2 in Reference Data Tables and previous NMDS-SC Publications

Adult Community Care contains the largest proportion of jobs, comprising of 35.8% of adult social care jobs in local authorities, in 2019.

The number of jobs in each service group within local authorities saw increases between 2018 and 2019 except for Adult Day Care and Domiciliary Care which decreased by 12.1% (1,100 jobs) and 2.7% (500 jobs) respectively since 2018. The largest proportional increase and number of jobs was seen in the Other care service group (up 5.8% or 1,500 jobs on 2018 figures) which includes ‘Any other services’ and ‘Head office services’. This was closely followed by the Adult Residential Care group (up 4.2% since 2018).

Since 2011 the number of Residential Care and Day Care service jobs has more than halved (52.3% and 51.8% respectively). Jobs in Domiciliary, Community and Other service groups have also seen decreases in this period, but at a slower rate. 2016 saw the first year in which the number of jobs in Domiciliary Care within local authorities is higher than the number of jobs in Residential Care, this pattern as continued through to 2019.

As can be seen in Figure 2.8, when looking at the number of jobs in each service group as a proportion of all service jobs there has been a shift away from Residential and Day Care jobs into Community and Other care services jobs between 2011 and 2019.

Download the data for this chart Figure 2.8: Proportion of adult social services jobs, by service group, 2011-2019

Source: Skills for Care - ASC-WDS - See Table 2 in Reference Data Tables and previous NMDS-SC Publications Proportions may not sum to 100% due to rounding.

Starters, leavers and vacancy rates

This section covers starters, leavers and vacancy data for local authority adult social services staff. In 2019 the starter rate within local authorities was 15.2% (15,800 starters), while the turnover rate was slightly lower at 13.7% (14,300 leavers). This means that there was a higher number of people joining the organisation than leaving in the year, resulting in an increase in the number of jobs.

These figures come from the confirmations spreadsheet provided to Skills for Care by local authorities as at September 2019 and will include all starters and leavers from teams that have been operating during the year.

Key Terms

Starter Rate – The number of new employees in the organisation within the year as a percentage of the total employees in September 2019

 

Turnover Rate – The number of employees leaving the organisation in the year as a percentage of the total employees in September 2019

 

Vacancy Rate – The number of vacancies in the organisation in September 2019 as a percentage of the total employees plus vacancies in September 2019

In general, the turnover rates for staff within social care departments in local authorities are much lower than rates in the independent social care sector. Skills for Care analysis shows that the turnover rate in the independent sector in March 2019 was 33.9%.

Starter and turnover rates by job role

Download the data for this chart Figure 2.9: Starters and turnover rate for adult social services jobs, by job role group

Source: Skills for Care - ASC-WDS - See Table 3 in Reference Data Tables

Figure 2.9 looks at the starters and turnover rates split by job role group. These figures come from the ASC-WDS as at September 2019 and therefore only include leavers from teams that were still operating at the time of completion (i.e. they exclude starters and leavers from whole teams that were outsourced or closed during the period).

The chart shows that starters rates were higher than turnover rates across all job role groups, when regarding staff who are either permanently or temporarily employed by the local authority. The highest starter rate (18.1%) was seen in the Other job role group with 3,800 people starting local authority social care jobs. This was closely followed by the professional group with a starter rate of 17.7%.

Within the professional group, the starter rates for social workers and occupational therapists in 2019 were 17.7% (2,800 starters) and 17.9% (500 starters), respectively. In terms of turnover rates, for social workers the rate was 13.4% (2,100 leavers) and for occupational therapists the rate was 11.2% (300 leavers).

Vacancy rates by job role

Vacancy rates are calculated based on all local authorities who were able to provide this data. In September 2019 this information was available for 150 of the 151 local authorities (Please see Table 4 in the reference data for local authorities included in this metric). For more information on which local authorities were able to provide data, please consult the data quality section and tables which accompany this publication.

Vacancy analysis

Directly employed (permanent and temporary) staff (150 LAs)

= 103,100

 

Number of Vacancies (150 LAs)

= 7,400

 

Vacancy rate (of directly employed)

= 6.7%

There were 7,400 vacant posts in adult social services departments within local authorities as at September 2019, an increase of 200 (3.4%) vacant posts since 2018.

This equates to a vacancy rate that is 6.7% of the total number of employees (directly employed) in 2019, comparable to September 2018, which showed a 6.6% vacancy rate, based on data from 150 local authorities.

As at September 2019, vacancy rates were highest for professional job roles, with a rate of 8.5% (1,800 vacant posts compared to 19,000 employees). When compared to 2018, all job role groups saw an increase in vacancy rates, as seen in Figure 2.10 below.

Download the data for this chart Figure 2.10: Vacancy rate for adult social services jobs, by job role group

Vacancy rate = Vacancies on completion date / (Vacancies on completion date + employees (permanent + temporary) on completion date).

2018 based on 150 local authorities and 2019 based on 150 local authorities with vacancies data recorded.

Source: Skills for Care - ASC-WDS – See Table 4 in Reference Data Tables

In The State of the Adult Social Care Sector and Workforce in England report, published in September 2019 by Skills for Care, professional roles also had the highest vacancy rate in the independent sector, at 9.9%. However, there was a different pattern to vacancy rates in this sector, compared to those within local authorities in September 2019. Direct care had the second highest vacancy rate at 8.7%, and managerial and other roles having comparatively lower vacancy rates at 5.2% and 4.4% respectively.

Within the professional job group, in 2019 the local authority vacancy rate was 8.6% for social workers (who make up most of this job group) and 8.3% for occupational therapists.

Employment status

The majority (91.9%) of the 113,200 adult social services jobs as at September 2019 were permanent and temporary roles (directly employed by local authority).

The increase of 1,000 adult social services jobs between 2018 and 2019 was mostly driven by the increase in directly employed workers which accounted for 77.6% (800 jobs) of the change. Agency staff accounted for the next highest proportion of the increase with 27.4% (300 jobs).

Download the data for this chart Figure 2.11: Proportion of adult social services jobs, by employment status 2011 to 2019

2011 based on 123 local authorities, 2012 to 2018 based on all 152 local authorities, and 2019 based on all 151 local authorities with employment status data recorded.

Source: Skills for Care - ASC-WDS - See Table 5 in Reference Data Tables and previous NMDS-SC Publications

 

Figure 2.11 above shows that most of jobs (86.3%) were filled by staff on permanent contracts (97,700 jobs), with a further 5.6% of jobs filled by staff working on a temporary basis (6,400 jobs). The remaining 8.1% (9,200 jobs) were filled by casual workers or workers not directly employed by local authorities.

It should be noted that these figures refer to a snapshot as at the end of September and therefore the number of casual workers and agency staff utilised throughout the whole year is likely to vary possibly due to the short-term nature of these types of roles.

The employment status of the workforce has remained relatively stable between 2011 and 2019. The most notable change was a slight shift away from temporary jobs (down to 5.6% in 2019 from 8.0% in 2011) to ‘other’ employment types (up to 8.1% in 2019 from 5.0% in 2011). Between 2018 and 2019 the proportions for temporary and other staff have both increased, whereas permanent staff has reduced. Bank or Pool and Agency workers (which accounted for 95.5% of the ‘other’ employment status) both showed the largest increases, with 400 jobs combined.

In terms of job role groups, employment status type did not vary greatly. Notably, a higher proportion of permanent workers were seen in managerial roles (90.3%) as seen in the chart below.

When analysing the ‘Other’ employment status further (which includes ‘Bank or pool’, ‘Agency’ and ‘Other’ workers), Direct care roles had the highest proportion of bank or pool workers (7.3%) and the professional group had the highest number of agency staff (7.5%). Please see Table 5 of the reference tables for further analysis.

Download the data for this chart Figure 2.12: Proportion of adult social services jobs, by employment status and job role group, 2019

Source: Skills for Care - ASC-WDS - See Table 5 in Reference Data Tables

Zero Hours Contracts

A zero-hours contract is a contract type where the employer is not obliged to provide any minimum working hours. This contract type could be particularly attractive to adult social care employers to help manage fluctuating demand for services, or as a temporary solution to staff shortages due to turnover or sickness (Skills for Care, 2019).

In 2019, based on 150 of the 151 local authorities completing data, 4,800 (4.2% of all jobs) jobs were zero-hours contracts, this is a 12.5% decrease since 2018. Nine in ten (92.3%) of these zero-hours contracts jobs were described as ‘bank or pool’ (4,400) although 200 (3.4%) permanent and temporary workers were also on a zero-hours contract.

Chart 2.13 below shows the all job role groups have seen a year on year decrease in the proportion of zero hour contracts except for the Manager / Supervisor group. By nature of the job types, the Direct care job role group continues to have the highest proportion of jobs with zero hours contracts at 6.9%.

The use of zero hours contracts within adult social services departments in local authorities is considerably lower than within the independent sector, as stated by Skills for Care in The State of the Adult Social Care Sector and Workforce in England, 2019 which reported that zero hours contracts represented 26.4% of all job roles in this sector in 2018/19.

Download the data for this chart Figure 2.13: Proportion of adult social services jobs with zero hours contracts, by job role group, 2018 to 2019

2018 based on 151 local authorities and 2019 based on 150 local authorities with zero hours contract data recorded.

Source: Skills for Care - ASC-WDS - See Table 24 in Reference Data Tables

Last edited: 26 February 2020 10:55 am