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£4m Employment Tribunal claim for 1,500 care home workers

A care home operator is facing a £4m compensation claim at an Employment Tribunal after a union alleges they failed to properly consult with staff following a takeover.

Following the collapse of Southern Cross, Britain’s biggest care home operator, all 752 care homes were transferred to new operators and all but 244 of its 44,000 staff were given new jobs.

A total of 27 care homes and 1,500 workers were transferred to the company Bondcare.

GMB, the union for care home workers, is now seeking a total of £4m in compensation from Boncare after alleging they failed to comply fully with their legal obligations to inform and consult staff.

The case is being heard at an Employment Tribunal in Croydon in South London and is expected to last three weeks.

Justin Bowden, GMB, national officer, said: “When Southern Cross collapsed and was broken up in 2011, GMB warned companies like Bondcare taking over running the homes, that our union would hold them to account and expect them to comply fully with their legal obligations to inform and consult the 1,500 staff who were transferred.

“This they failed to do.

“So when Bondcare and Southern Cross rode rough-shod over those rights GMB took action in the courts and the day of reckoning is now upon Bondcare who are staring down the barrels of a 4m bill for compensation.”

Ten of the Bondcare homes covered by this case are in the North East of England, the others are spread across the North-West, West Midlands, East Midlands, Scotland, West Yorkshire and Hampshire.

A spokeswoman for Bondcare said: “The company is vigorously defending this action. It would not be appropriate to make any further comment until the conclusion of the hearing.”

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