#Social work
The UK government; The Health Professions Council
United Kingdom

Social workers in England are due to have their mandatory professional registration transferred from the General Social Care Council (GSCC) to the Health Professions Council (HPC) in the summer of 2012.

They face a hike in their professional registration fee of over 150%, resulting from a decision they had no say over. Those who have already paid a fee to the GSCC in 2012, will have to pay twice in one year. Since April 2009, most social workers have suffered a two year pay freeze when, as a result of the rising cost of living, they would have needed rises of more than 11% just to break even. This fee increase is a ‘tax’ on practising which social workers can ill afford.

Social workers also face the loss of the right to appeal against sanctions to the First Tier Tribunal (Care Standards). Permissible grounds for appeal under the HPC are much narrower and less responsive to the complexities of social work cases, and must be made in the High Court. This will be more expensive as parties have to instruct barristers or solicitors with higher rights, and social workers will now run the risk of having costs awarded against them.

We the undersigned call on the Government and the Health Professions Council (HPC) to:

Agree arrangements to phase in registration fee increases over a period of years.

Offset against fees due to the HPC any fee already paid by a social worker to the GSCC in 2012.

Retain the current First Tier Tribunal (Care Standards) appeal system which has proved accessible, efficient and cost-effective in ensuring fair outcomes for social workers.

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The Fairness for social workers petition to The UK government; The Health Professions Council was written by UNISON130 and is in the category Miscellaneous at GoPetition.