Golden hello payment for children’s social workers

We are offering a welcome payment of £3,500 to experienced children’s social workers.

Our golden hello

We have introduced the payment of two special allowances to assist in the recruitment and retention of high quality and experienced social workers.

The payments apply to certain hard to fill vacancies in some social care teams, such as:

  • Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)
  • Family Solutions Plus (FSP)
  • Youth Justice and Exploitation Service (YJES)
  • Child We Care For (CWCF).

Eligibility for the golden hello

To be paid the golden hello, you must meet the conditions below.

1. Qualified social worker

You must:

  • be a qualified social worker 
  • have a minimum of three years post-qualifying relevant work experience. 

To be eligible to receive the payment, you must provide:

  • a copy of your social worker qualification 
  • your registration number to be eligible to receive the payment. 

2. Permanent and approved posts

The post we recruit you to must be:

  • be permanent and approved 
  • require social work qualification. 

Eligible teams

  • MASH
  • FSP
  • CWCF
  • CWD
  • YJES

Eligible roles

  • Social worker
  • Senior practitioner
  • Assistant team manager
  • Team manager

3. Probationary period

You must complete your six months probationary period. 

4. Employment agency social workers 

We may pay the golden hello to social workers who have worked with the council before through an employment agency.

It does not apply to:

  • staff transferring employment within the council
  • staff re-joining after leaving the council from a related job within the past year. 

Golden hello amount

If you meet the conditions, we'll pay a lump sum of £3,500 (three thousand and five hundred pounds).

The payment is subject to tax deductions

Approval of the payment

The deputy director will approve the golden hello payment in agreement with the HR business partner. 

There will be no right of appeal, and their decision will be final. 

Leaver's clause

Warning We'll ask you to sign an agreement to confirm you have read and understood the leaver's clause outlined below. 

You will be required to repay a proportion of the golden hello payment if within three years you choose to:

  • leave the council's employment
  • transfer to another post at the council.

The deputy director, in agreement with the HR business partner, will consider and decide these cases. 

We'll normally calculate the amount according to the number of months of service completed as a proportion of three years of service (36 months). 


If a social worker leaves after 20 months of service, they will be required to repay 16/36ths of the golden hello payment. The repayment is to compensate the council for the months not served up to the 36 months threshold. 

The deputy director and HR business partner will consider any mitigating factors the social worker puts forward, for example:

  • ill health
  • compassionate reasons. 

A right of appeal to the head of HR will be available as the final arbiter. 


We will reclaim the golden hello in full if we dismiss the social worker within the three years for: 

  • misconduct 
  • gross misconduct 
  • gross incompetence. 


We will reclaim part of the golden hello if we dismiss the social worker within the three years for reasons of competence.

Ill-health or redundancy

We will not claim repayment if we dismiss the social worker for:

  • permanent ill-health
  • inefficiency to perform due to ill health
  • redundancy. 

Social worker vacancies

View latest social work vacancies.

Our jobs website and application process is administered by our partner organisation Hampshire County Council.