Staff vacancies in care services 2019 report

11 Dec 2020

The Care Inspectorate and the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) have published new figures on the levels of staff vacancies in Scotland’s care services.

It is important to remember the data in the report comes from December 2019 and so reflects the situation in care services before the COVID-19 pandemic began in the UK and before the first case had been identified in the UK.

Our next report, which we will publish in 2021, will be based on data from 31 December 2020.

As with the previous report, this report provides a national overview of vacancies and recruitment difficulties reported by care services to the Care Inspectorate, the body which registers and inspects all care services. It also includes data on vacancies as a percentage of the total whole time equivalent (WTE) workforce.

At 31st December 2019, 39% of services reported having vacancies. This was increase of 1 percentage point from 2018 and 2017 (38%).

Housing support/care at home services (62% of services), care homes for older people (63% of services) and care homes for adults (54% of services) were the main service types with the largest proportion of services reporting vacancies all significantly above the national average.

Offender accommodation service was the only main service type where the vacancy rates was below the national average.

At 31 December 2019, the rate of WTE vacancies for all services in Scotland was 6.2%, up from 5.5% in 2018. This was higher than the overall vacancy rate across all establishments in Scotland of 3.1% in 2017 which is the most recent data available for the whole Scottish economy.

The information in the report on vacancies, problems filling vacancies and the reasons why services have reported having problems filling vacancies, has been extracted from information provided by care services, across early learning and childcare, children’s services and adult social care.

Every care service is asked to complete an annual return each year to provide statistical and other information. The vacancy questions are asked for every care service type apart from childminders, who are typically sole providers.


The tables and are available in Microsoft Excel (.xlsx) and OpenDocument Spreadsheet (.ods) format.  Additionally, the tables are available in non-proprietary Comma Separated Values (CSV) format, together in a compressed ZIP file. The provision of the data in these formats is intended to facilitate its analysis and re-use.

Description File type File size (KB)  
All tables (Excel 2010) .xlsx 73.0 Download
All tables (Open document) .ods 55.2 Download
All tables (CSV zipped) .csv 26.3  Download