A care group’s plans to alter staff contracts, including cutting staff holiday, sickness and maternity pay have been branded “mean spirited” by a leading union.
National care provider, Valorum Care Group, has begun a consultation on the changes for its Kenmore in Cleckheaton, Champion House in Calverley and White Windows, Sowerby Bridge services in West Yorkshire, which were previously operated by Leonard Cheshire Disability.
Ashley Harper, Unison Yorkshire & Humberside regional organiser, told the Telegraph & Argus: “Valorum must pull back from making these devastating cuts, quite simply because it’s the right thing to do.
“Driving through short-sighted, cost cutting plans won’t just alienate staff but could even compromise the care residents receive, if care workers decide to get jobs with employers who better respect their workforce.”
A Valorum Care Group spokesperson responded: “The care sector is a very challenging sector to operate in. Costs are increasing significantly while at the same time income is reducing as local authorities struggle to meet the rising cost of social care.
“Many local authorities are offering payment increases below inflation this year. The last year has been even more challenging, operationally and financially, with COVID-19 hitting the sector hard.
“Valorum Care Group has grown over the last three years, acquiring schemes from other providers which have staff on different pay and conditions. Fairness is of paramount importance to us and ensuring that our staff are paid fairly across the group is a top priority. We are implementing full and proper consultation processes on the changes.
“We have absolute admiration for all our staff and their efforts throughout the pandemic. Embarking on this consultation is to create a fairer way of working across all our services at this difficult time and protect jobs and services for the long term in this challenging social care environment.”