In the UK, the social care sector has long faced significant challenges, impacting both the quality of care delivered and the wellbeing of those providing it. At the forefront of these issues is the treatment of social care workers, who are often subject to unfavourable working conditions. This includes instances of being underpaid, overworked, and receiving inadequate support and training, leading to a detrimental impact on their morale and professional efficacy.
The sector, mirroring aspects of hospitality in terms of employee turnover and job perception, struggles with a recruitment process that doesn’t always prioritise values and aptitude for care. Consequently, this has led to some workers being inadequately prepared for the responsibilities of caring for vulnerable individuals. With an ageing population, the demand for social care is at an all-time high, stressing the importance of investing in and supporting workers for more efficient and effective care delivery.
The wellbeing of social care workers is paramount, not only for their personal health but also for the quality of care they provide. There is a critical need for systemic changes, including better funding, improved working conditions, and a shift in how these roles are perceived and valued. The government and relevant stakeholders need to acknowledge and address these challenges, ensuring that social care is recognised as a crucial and respected profession.
Avinav Nigam, founder of TERN Group, highlights the issue of mistreatment and exploitation in the sector, particularly among overseas workers:
My Nanny, who is a fully trained social carer was led to believe she was getting a job in the UK for a large care organisation. She was tricked into parting with £35,000 of her own money and when she got here, there was no job to be seen, she’s just 24 years old. Sadly, this is a story we hear time and time again, people are being taken advantage of, and considering the extreme shortage of quality care staffing in the UK, it’s even more of a sad tale.
Avinav Nigam, founder of TERN Group
TERN Group, a people-tech company, aims to address these challenges by ensuring ethical and transparent recruitment practices, but the broader issues within the social care system remain a significant concern.
The focus must be on creating a sustainable and supportive environment for social care workers. This includes ensuring ethical recruitment practices, particularly for overseas workers who are often the most vulnerable to exploitation. Such measures are not just about filling vacancies; they are about respecting and valuing the critical work these professionals do every day.
TERN Group’s involvement is a step towards rectifying some of these recruitment issues, but the broader challenges facing social care in the UK require concerted and continuous efforts from all stakeholders. It’s time to put people first – both those receiving care and the dedicated professionals providing it.
Joanne is the editor for Workplace Wellbeing Professional and has a keen interest in promoting the safety and wellbeing of the global workforce. After earning a bachelor's degree in English literature and media studies, she taught English in China and Vietnam for two years. Before joining Work Well Pro, Joanne worked as a marketing coordinator for luxury property, where her responsibilities included blog writing, photography, and video creation.