Is return to practice for me?

This will depend on a number of areas:

  • Personal and family health and wellbeing – consider the Public health guidance when thinking about whether a practice role is for you 
  • Experience and expertise – some specialisms will align more closely with current needs
  • Independent role – some independent work will still be needed, could be repurposed or may only have a temporary lull, so it may be more effective to continue existing work

Social work business

You will need to consider the following practicalities for your current independent work (these are not exhaustive):

Speak to your accountant:

  • There will still be tax liabilities for any remunerated work that you have done as an independent in any tax year.
  • Business expenses – you will need to consider whether business expenses can still be continued or need to be paused

Limited Company

  • You will need to continue to file accounts and register the company if you want to keep it open
  • Pay As You Earn and National Insurance – if you are currently paid as an employee by your company and you are stopping this pay permanently, you will need a P45


  • A self-assessment will still be required should you have any self-employed turnover within the current tax year


  • Professional indemnity cover is claims-made meaning you must have the policy in place when you complete the piece of independent social work and the same policy in place should any future malpractice claim arise in the future. Providing you retain the same BASW membership (without a break), this ongoing coverage will remain.


Finding a role

You may want to update your LinkedIn profile and CV. Sample template may be found here

Each regulator in the four nations of the UK are supporting efforts to identify social workers who want to express an interest in practice roles during the pandemic.

Support for you in your new role

You will need to consider the following arrangements and  areas of support from a prospective employer:

  • Pay and NI – how you wil be paid
  • Pension arrangments/ contributions
  • Induction and learning
  • Supervision and line management
  • Peer support
  • Health and safety
  • Equipment
  • Transport and travel

Professional preparation

The following BASW resources may be helpful for refreshing or adding to professional knowledge:

Capabilities statements for particular areas of practice [England]:

Preparation for working in a pandemic

BASW has up to date pages signposting to the latest information

Support from BASW

BASW provides support to independent social workers and wider social work in a range of ways. Some useful areas for you may be:

Peer networks:

Professional Development

BASW is expanding the wide range of learning we offer to be available online.

Up-to-date information during the Coronavirus pandemic for independent social workers