Jamie Trick

Posted 148 days ago

Social Work

3 min read

Why Go Permanent?

Locum rates are at an all time high. Local Authorities are increasing rates time and time again to ensure they get the best available locum staff. So, you ask yourself, why go permanent?

Because the bubble will burst – rates cannot stay this high and be sustainable. I’m not saying that to shock or sound dramatic, it’s just a realistic view on public finances, especially after the pandemic.

So other than the money side of things, why should you consider going permanent and staying that way?

Career Progression - This is a big issue for a lot of locum staff that come to us, who decide to go permanent. They have worked for years, honing their skills, but struggle to step up into a management role, because step up posts are very rarely handed out to locum staff. If you want to progress into management and beyond, the best way to do that is in a permanent role.

Generous Annual Leave– We work with authorities that offer a minimum of 29 days PLUS bank holidays! As a locum, if you want to take time off, you will have to accrue TOIL and even then, it sometimes isn’t enough to take that well earned break with your friends or family.

Maternity/Paternity & Sick Leave – At certain points in your life you may want/need to take time off for new arrivals and Local Authorities offer a fantastic Maternity/Paternity package for their permanent staff. As we all know, Social Work can be very hard and we all get sick sometimes. Instead of adding stress of no hourly pay, as a permanent member of staff you will be covered so you or family don’t face financial concerns.

Training & Further Qualifications – Sometimes locum staff are lucky enough to receive critical training in the role they have started in, but the non-mandatory training, skills that will help you develop as a Social Worker will only be reserved for Permanent staff. Also, did you know that if you want to seek further qualifications like Practice Educator, PQ 1,2, etc you employer will have a fund specifically for your development!

Recruitment & Retention – We all know this is hard in Social Work, but Local Authorities are offering some fantastic packages if you decide to permanent. Golden Hello’s of up to £5k plus annual retention bonuses; some will even pay them on a monthly basis, rather than in bulk so you see more of the money instead of the tax man! Furthermore, some authorities will even allow you a fully paid sabbatical AND a lump sum after 5 years of service! Who fancies 3 months full pay on an island drinking cocktails?....

Continuation of Service & Pension Schemes - The longer you are a permanent member of staff for a Local Authority you will build up continuation of service benefits. This also includes adding annual leave days to your allowance where you work, so its pays to stick with a permanent role in the long term too! Also, continuation of service will help your pension plans too, so this is a great way of preparing for your future retirement.

Stability & Security – Probably the first thing you will think of, but it really does make a big difference. Although locum seems secure, and in some cases it really can be, if you envisage a future outside of the front line services, locum roles are fewer and farther between. Going permanent will most likely be the only option if you choose to leave the front line.

So why not have a think about what I’ve had to say here. This isn’t just a “New Year, New Me” call; it’s a stop and really consider your long term career plans call!

I am working with some of the best Service Managers and Heads of Service out there, so get in touch to discuss your long term career plans.

Give our permanent team a call on 01635 226350 and we can help you find that role that really excites you.

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Sheldon Phillips