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Survey reveals four in five social care staff consider quitting

Monday, May 15, 2023

Survey reveals four in five social care staff consider quitting

A poll of staff conducted by GMB Scotland reveals the mounting dismay of many carers with 82% considering leaving in the last year while a similar proportion say the increasing stress of their job is damaging their health.

The survey exposes the scale of the morale crisis in the sector with the vast majority of staff feeling underpaid and overworked with 84% saying pay-levels make it unaffordable to carry on.

Many of the 300 staff polled said their job was taking an increasing physical and mental toll but said there was no sick pay and they could not afford to take time off if ill.

GMB Scotland is campaigning for a £15 an hour minimum wage for carers and the immediate resinstatement of the Social Care Support Fund offering sick pay to staff affected by Covid.

One staff member, who was worked in care for 20 years, told the union she had seen a dramatic decline in standards in recent years, saying: “Employers do not appreciate the demands, physically and emotionally and having no sick pay is a huge worry.

“In a 12-hour shift I get to sit down for a maximum of 50 minutes. The challenges and stress of the job are now outweighing what was once a satisfying career and I have become disheartened.”

One worker told how full-time staff were given part-time contracts to lower their statutory rights, adding: “Full time workers are on 20-hour contracts, meaning less holiday pay, less sick pay, and having to work long days to make ends meet.”

GMB Scotland said the staff survey confirms low wages and increasing stress are forcing skilled and committed staff to leave.

Cara Stevenson, GMB Scotland organiser, said the survey of staff had exposed the scale of the crisis of morale in the care sector driven by low pay and poor conditions.

“These workers do one of the most critical jobs in any society. Their commitment to caring for some of Scotland’s most vulnerable people has been demonstrated again and again but their work is undervalued, underappreciated and underpaid.

“To avert a looming catastrophe in care, that needs to change and needs to change as a matter of urgency.”

The survey results revealed 82% of staff had thought about leaving in the last year while 84% do not believe they can afford to work in social care.

Meanwhile, 89% of the 300 staff surveyed last month said they did not feel valued as a social care worker while 80% said the job has had a negative impact on their mental health with 44% citing stress as the most damaging factor.

Calling for change, 88% of staff said they would consider industrial action if pay and conditions do not improve.


Contact: GMB Scotland Communications on 07738 486317 or email