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Council's social work provision for children and adults

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Dear Northumberland County Council,

This request concerns the Council's social work provision for both children and adults for the 2015-16, 2016-17, and 2017-18 budget years.

Should the following questions exceed your time and budgetary restrictions, we ask that as per Section 16 of the Freedom of Information Act you kindly assist us in formulating our request before the statutory 20 days waiting time. We are available to discuss this over the phone on 07940074548 if more convenient.

First, please provide a basic definition for permanent social workers and a definition for agency workers (i.e. staff who are used temporarily to cover shortfalls in permanent staffing levels).

Then for each of the three years separately, please detail:

Wage:
a) the average annual salary for permanent social workers in the team, and the annual salary for the most junior level of permanent social worker you employ.
b) The hourly equivalent of these annual salaries, based only on working hours and not on allotted annual leave, bank holidays, development days etc. (i.e. annual salary divided by contracted work hours)
c) the average hourly wage for agency staff.
d) the agency fee, and how this works, i.e. is it a one off up-front cost or an hourly commission for each agency staff member? If it is the latter, please highlight whether this is included within the hourly agency staff wage or is an additional cost on top.

Hours:
a) the total number of annual contracted hours for permanent social workers. Please divide this into working hours, and non-working hours (i.e. annual leave entitlement, bank holidays, development days etc.).
b) the actual number of permanent staff hours worked in total across the whole team.
c) the actual number of agency staff hours worked in total.
d) The percentage of total agency hours that covered permanent staff vacancies, rather than maternity or sick leave.
e) the average timeframe that individual agency staff members worked within the service (i.e. how long do they normally stay?).

Benefits:
a) Any additional benefits offered/given to permanent staff members including pension contributions (and the total cost of these), and any additional benefits offered/given to agency staff members, including pension contributions (and the total cost of these).
b) Any costs that permanent staff members can claim back, but which agency staff members have to absorb themselves - for example travel/petrol costs. In such cases, please detail the total cost of these permanent staff claims.
c) Any incentives you offer as part of the recruitment of social workers, either to social workers themselves or recruitment consultants, for example relocation packages (and the cost of these).

Total Cost:
a) The total cost of permanent staff members and the total cost of agency staff members.

Then, looking at the current situation:
How many permanent full time equivalent staff members are currently employed?
how many full time equivalent agency staff are currently employed covering permanent positions (not maternity or sick leave)?
What are the names of the agencies used by the council to provide temporary social workers?
What was the number of applications you had for the last five permanent social worker roles that were advertised (and over what time-period this was)?

If there are questions for which you do not hold the information, please tell us why this is, where this information can be found, and who to contact.

Please provide all information in a machine readable format, i.e. an Excel spreadsheet or similar, and not in a scanned pdf format.

Thank you in advance,

Matt Richards and Anais Charles

Northumberland County Council

1 Attachment

Our Ref: 4338  

Dear Enquirer,

INFORMATION REQUEST

Thank you for your request for information which will be dealt with under
the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 / Environmental
Information Regulations 2004.

In some circumstances a fee may be payable and if that is the case, we
will let you know the likely charges before proceeding.

If you have any queries about this matter please contact us. Please
remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

Kind regards

Information Governance Office
Northumberland County Council
County Hall
Morpeth
Northumberland
NE61 2EF

Tel: 0345 600 6400
Email: [email address]
Web: http://www.northumberland.gov.uk

Northumberland County Council

1 Attachment

Our Ref: 4338   

Dear Enquirer,

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUEST

Thank you for your request for information received on 11.06.2018
concerning Social work provision.   This request is being handled under
the Freedom of Information Act

The Council confirms that it does hold certain information covered by your
request, however we believe that we need further time in which to provide
a full response to you.

Please accept our apologies for the delay in providing you with the
response.  We hope to have the response together and approved by w/c
23.07.2018.

Complaints

If you are unhappy with the way your request for information has been
handled, you can request an internal review by writing within 2 months
from the date of your response to the Information Governance Office:

Freedom of Information Officer
Northumberland County Council
County Hall
Morpeth
NE61 2EF

[email address]

Information Commissioner

If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request or complaint,
you have a right by Section 50 of the Act to apply to the Information
Commissioner for a decision as to whether your request has been dealt with
in accordance with the requirements of the Act at:

The Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Tel: 01625 545 745 / Fax: 01625 524 510
Email: [email address]

There is no charge for making an appeal.

Yours sincerely

FOI Coordinator - Information Governance Office
Northumberland County Council
County Hall
Morpeth
Northumberland
NE61 2EF

Tel: 0345 600 6400
Email: [email address]
Web: http://www.northumberland.gov.uk

Northumberland County Council

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Our Ref: 4338   

Dear Enquirer,

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUEST

I refer to your Freedom of Information request in relation to social work
provision for children and adult's services.

Right of Access

Section 1(1) of the Act provides any person making a request for
information to a public authority is entitled.

(a) to be informed in writing by the public authority whether it holds
information of the description specified in the request (which Section
1(6) of the Act designates as the "duty to confirm or deny"), and

(b) if that is the case, to have that information communicated to him.

The right is to obtain access to the information itself and not to the
document or record which contains it.

The Act creates a general right of access to information held by public
authorities subject to various exemptions.

Northumberland County Council confirms that it holds the information you
have requested, please see the attached and following information in
response.

This request concerns the Council's social work provision for both
children and adults for the 2015-16, 2016-17, and 2017-18 budget years.
Should the following questions exceed your time and budgetary
restrictions, we ask that as per Section 16 of the Freedom of Information
Act you kindly assist us in formulating our request before the statutory
20 days waiting time. We are available to discuss this over the phone on
07940074548 if more convenient.
First, please provide a basic definition for permanent social workers and
a definition for agency workers (i.e. staff who are used temporarily to
cover shortfalls in permanent staffing levels).

A) Agency social workers have ordinarily been used to carry out the
same role as permanent social workers although managers will allocate work
to allow for continuity for service users.

Then for each of the three years separately, please detail:
Wage:
a)      the average annual salary for permanent social workers in the
team, and the annual salary for the most junior level of permanent social
worker you employ.

A.a) Please see the attached spreadsheet

b)   The hourly equivalent of these annual salaries, based only on
working hours and not on allotted annual leave, bank holidays, development
days etc. (i.e. annual salary divided by contracted work hours)

A.b) Please see the attached spreadsheet

 

c)       the average hourly wage for agency staff.

A.c) Please see the attached spreadsheet

d)       the agency fee, and how this works, i.e. is it a one off
up-front cost or an hourly commission for each agency staff member? If it
is the latter, please highlight whether this is included within the hourly
agency staff wage or is an additional cost on top.

A.d) NCC pay an hourly 'charge' rate to the contracted Neutral Vendor
provider De Poel.  The charge rate includes a fixed hourly rate to De Poel
and an agency fee which is determined by De Poel.  This is based on a %
sliding scale and is dependent on the hourly pay rate.

Hours:
a)       the total number of annual contracted hours for permanent
social workers. Please divide this into working hours, and non-working
hours (i.e. annual leave entitlement, bank holidays, development days
etc.).

A.a) Please see the attached spreadsheet

b)   the actual number of permanent staff hours worked in total across
the whole team.

A.b) Please see the attached spreadsheet

c)   the actual number of agency staff hours worked in total.

A.c) Please see the attached spreadsheet

d)       The percentage of total agency hours that covered permanent
staff vacancies, rather than maternity or sick leave.

A.d) We are unable to provide the response to this question but should
be able to do so within 30 days.

e)       the average timeframe that individual agency staff members
worked within the service (i.e. how long do they normally stay?).

A.e) We are unable to provide the response to this question but should
be able to do so within 30 days.

Benefits:
a)       Any additional benefits offered/given to permanent staff
members including pension contributions (and the total cost of these), and
any additional benefits offered/given to agency staff members, including
pension contributions (and the total cost of these).

A.a) additional benefits include 18.5 Employers Pension Contributions:

2015/2016 : total Employers Pension contributions = £968,905

2016/2017 : Total Employers Pension contributions = £1,015151

2017/2018 : Total Employers Pension contributions = £1,074,186

b)       Any costs that permanent staff members can claim back, but
which agency staff members have to absorb themselves - for example
travel/petrol costs. In such cases, please detail the total cost of these
permanent staff claims.

A.b) We are unable to provide the response to this question but should
be able to do so within 30 days.

c)       Any incentives you offer as part of the recruitment of social
workers, either to social workers themselves or recruitment consultants,
for example relocation packages (and the cost of these).

A.c) The council does offer its standard relocation package, although
an employee will have to fulfill particular criteria to qualify.

Relocation packages*
Adult Services Children’s Services
2015/2016 £4,718 £8,400
2016/2017 £8,000 £5,916
2017/2018 0 £8,889

* The total expenditure on relocation packages for adult and children’s
services for the years in question is shown in the table above.  However
it should be noted that these figures are not specifically related to the
recruitment of social workers.

Total Cost:
a)       The total cost of permanent staff members and the total cost of
agency staff members.

A.a) Please see the attached spreadsheet
Then, looking at the current situation:
a) How many permanent full time equivalent staff members are
currently employed?

A.a) Please see the attached spreadsheet

b) how many full time equivalent agency staff are currently employed
covering permanent positions (not maternity or sick leave)?

A.b) We are unable to provide the response to this question but should
be able to do so within 30 days.

c) What are the names of the agencies used by the council to provide
temporary social workers?

A.c) NCC do not have direct contracts with agencies.  We contract with
De Poel who is the Neutral Vendor contracted provider.

d) What was the number of applications you had for the last five
permanent social worker roles that were advertised (and over what
time-period this was)?

A.d) There were 92 applications for the last 5 social worker roles.
Period covered 3.4.18 to 29.6.18.

Complaints

If you are unhappy with the way your request for information has been
handled, you can request an internal review by writing within 2 months
from the date of this response to the Information Governance Office:

Information Governance Office
Northumberland County Council
County Hall
Morpeth
NE61 2EF

Email: [email address]

Information Commissioner

If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have a
right by Section 50 of the Act to apply to the Information Commissioner
for a decision as to whether your request has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act at:

The Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Tel: 01625 545 745
Email: [email address]

There is no charge for making an appeal.

Yours sincerely

FOI Coordinator - Central Team
Information Governance Office
Northumberland County Council
County Hall
Morpeth
Northumberland
NE61 2EF

Tel: 0345 600 6400
Email: [email address]
Web: http://www.northumberland.gov.uk

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are M Richards please sign in and let everyone know.