07899715085 or 07899713498 unison1@wirral.gov.uk


Wednesday 6 May 2020 - 16:06


A statutory instrument laid before Parliament on 23 April removed vital legal protections and safeguards from children in care. It came into force the next day, 24 April. Around 100 changes to children’s social care regulations were made. There was no public consultation and no time for Parliamentary scrutiny and debate.
The government says the measures are temporary – expiring on 25 September – to allow overstretched children’s services greater flexibility, but there are fears that the coronavirus crisis is being used as an excuse to relax children’s social care duties and the expiry date could be revoked.
UNISON has joined the campaign organised by Article 39 calling for: 

  • The withdrawal of the statutory instrument 
  •  Any proposed changes to the law affecting children genuinely connected to COVID-19 must be transparent about the reasons why and subject to open consultation and parliamentary scrutiny. We understand that timescales may have to be tighter than usual for these democratic processes. 

The emergency legislation not only diminishes the rights of children and important safeguards, it also presents a danger to social workers. Sadly, we know that scapegoating frontline social workers when something goes wrong is not unusual and the emergency legislation would increase the risk of things going wrong and risk being missed. 

Wirral UNISON are calling a meeting for all Social Workers to discuss these changes and what stance we should take. We will invite all of our social worker members to a meeting via Microsoft Teams, if you know of colleagues who may wish to attend but are not yet members of UNISON, please ask them to email Lois or Dave and we will invite them via Microsoft Teams. 


The meeting will take place at 12pm on Thursday 7 May.