A leading care group has been accused of “plunging its workers into poverty” after furloughing staff at a care home that suffered a significant COVID-19 outbreak.
Advinia Health Care is rotating its furloughed staff at its Newcarron Court care home in Falkirk due to a drop in occupancy as a result of a coronavirus outbreak.
GMB regional organiser Chris Kennedy told the Daily Record: “The firm makes massive profits so they could easily afford to make up the wages.
“Plunging these workers into poverty is a shameful way to treat them after everything they’ve been through.”
A spokesperson for Advinia Health Care said: “Our dedicated and compassionate colleagues have worked tirelessly throughout the last year providing essential support to some of the most vulnerable members of our community. However, as our colleagues are aware, our home has experienced significant financial challenges during the pandemic as a result of its decreased occupancy rate.
“Our priority has been to do what we can to avoid those financial challenges translating into staff redundancies. In order for us to do this, we have had to utilise the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and we are very grateful to colleagues for agreeing to this.
“Against this backdrop, it has simply not been financially viable for us to supplement the payments received from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. We recognise this means our colleagues will be experiencing a short-term reduction in wages and to ensure the impact is minimised in so far as possible, colleagues are being rotated on and off furlough.
“We are now working hard, with all of our relevant stakeholders, to significantly improve occupancy at the home, which is one of the largest in Scotland.”