Reducing the backlog of Unpaid Work hours: Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020


Social Work Scotland Position Paper – 15 July 2020

Social Work Scotland is the professional body for social work leaders. Over recent months we have been monitoring closely the evolving situation within the criminal justice system, with a particular concern over the management of unpaid work and other court-mandated activities.

We are taking this opportunity to set out our position regarding the community order ‘variation’ provisions contained within Schedule 4, Part 6 (Section 15) of the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 (hereafter referred to as ‘the Act’), which we believe must now be used to reduce the backlog in unpaid work hours.

The extension of community orders with unpaid work requirements has bought the justice system valuable time, but without a systematic reduction in the number of outstanding unpaid work hours (through revocation or variation of orders), there is a major risk that Justice Social Work (JSW) will be overwhelmed, with serious consequences for the wider justice system.

Read the Unpaid Work – Use of the Coronavirus (S) Act 2020 paper (Word)

For further information please contact:

James Maybee, Chair, Social Work Scotland’s Justice Standing Committee