Derby City council offers £10,000 incentive to social workers

Derby City council has begun offering new social workers a £10,000 incentive, to be used towards a mortgage.

The incentive is thought to be the first of its kind in the UK, with Derby claiming that the £200,000 deal will save money in the long term by reducing spend on costly temporary staff.

The plans mean newly employed social workers will receive a loan towards a mortgage, after passing a six-month probation period. If the employees keeps their job for over five years, they will not need to repay the loan.

Data shows the council currently employs 118 children’s social workers, meaning the region is short-staffed by around 25 posts, which are mostly covered by agency staff. The mortgage subsidy scheme would help enrol 20 children’s social workers, by offering them up to £10,000 tax free towards helping them become home owners.

A spokesperson for Derby City Council said: “We would have to raise pay very considerably for social workers to match the pay of agency workers whose salaries are governed by the market where demand outstrips supply.

“Raising salaries has been tried by various councils across the country, and the response from agencies is to increase their prices to local authorities in order to pay their social workers more.”