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GMB Slams Private Care Firm’s ‘Dickensian’ Wage Grab On Low-Paid Staff

Thursday, March 8, 2018

GMB Slams Private Care Firm’s ‘Dickensian’ Wage Grab On Low-Paid Staff 

GMB Scotland has today (Thursday 8 March) slammed a major private care provider after it emerged that staff are being asked to sign ‘Dickensian’ contract changes that would result in the loss of wages for non-attendance at training courses. 

Local managers at Larchwood Care homes have been given discretionary authority to request staff sign contractual amendments that could deduct between £45 and £63 from their earnings if they are unable to attend to mandatory training courses. 

However, worried workers have contacted GMB citing concerns that penalties are being applied where training dates fall on annual leave and rest days, or where staff cannot arrange the appropriate shift cover to attend courses. 

Larchwood operates six homes across Scotland - in Aberdeen, Dundee, East Kilbride, Hamilton, Giffnock and Broomfield, Glasgow - and employs an estimated 400 staff providing residential, nursing and dementia care services. 

GMB Scotland Organiser Dominic Allen said: “Frankly, this is a Dickensian approach to managing what should be a straightforward staffing issue and yet another example of concerning attacks on employment rights in Scotland’s private care sector. 

Staff should not be subject to financial penalty if they cannot attend training courses because of issues like staff cover, leave or a short notice diktat and neither should they be compelled to sign contracts that enshrine this cash grab. 

The vast majority of care staff in Larchwood earn the living wage while ancillary staff earn less than that, so the possibility of losing as much as 10 per cent of their weekly earnings would have hugely detrimental impact on our members and their families.

GMB will not stand back and let our members be exploited. We will move to submit a collective grievance to defend our members’ interests but Larchwood management should do the right thing and withdraw this punitive practice as soon as possible.” 


Contact: GMB Scotland Organiser Dominic Allen on 07501 229 564 or Peter Welsh, GMB Scotland Communications, on 07976 447077.