Agreement to protect workers’ rights for agency social workers

Social Work Employment Services (SWES), the UK’s only not-for-profit social work umbrella company, and registered trade union Social Workers Union (SWU) have signed a formal bargaining agreement.

John McGowan, SWU General Secretary said “The bargaining agreement commits SWES to consult with SWU on any changes in terms, conditions, and pay rates for employees. This action affirms SWES and SWU’s commitment to protecting workers’ rights, and specifically in this case the rights of agency social workers.”

A formal co-operation agreement between the two organisations was signed by John McGowan, SWU General Secretary and Kate O’Regan, SWES Company Director earlier this week.

Audited and accredited by Professional Passport, Social Work Employment Services works in partnership with the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) and adheres to its Code of Ethics.

Company Director of umbrella service, Social Work Employment Services, Kate O’Regan said “We are delighted to extend our formal recognition agreement with the Social Workers Union (SWU) and are the only UK umbrella company to have such an agreement in place.

“We know that agency social workers have fewer employment rights and that SWU membership provides them with greater protection. We are also working with SWU to raise the profile of agency social workers.”

John McGowan, SWU General Secretary added: “Social Workers Union recognises that Social Work Employment Service (SWES) is a good employer and provides an ethical and compliant service for our members.

“Overall, agencies providing social workers can be a valuable addition to the employment pool – essential during the ongoing staffing crisis and the emergence of a not-for-profit umbrella company such as Social Work Employment Services is a welcome additional support.

Joining SWU not only provides an additional layer of protection but provides SWES members with a range of member benefits.”

A trio of support and one-stop-shop for agency workers

Based on the 2021 market rates, a BASW/SWU/SWES membership would be equivalent in cost to joining a standard UK umbrella company.

Members of BASW can join the umbrella service and the union at a very affordable price and through this, enjoy the full range of professional support, advice and representation services and PAYE, payroll and employment services from the combination of our complementary organisations. All of these have social work values and ethics at their heart.

This augments the firm foundations of BASW, SWES and SWU, going forward together in cooperation, and creating a strong future for all organisations.

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