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Southern Cross redundancy plan withdrawn

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Proposals for 3,000 redundancies and staff contract changes at Southern Cross have been withdrawn under plans to transfer its care homes to landlords.

The care home provider had said in June that it needed to cut 7% of its workforce of 44,000 - affecting over 300 nurses - as it attempted to restructure its business. Cuts in hours, and changes to pay and conditions, were also proposed.

However, the company announced on 11 July that it was to cease operations after the landlords of its 752 homes opted to takeover direct control of its care homes.

The GMB union said last week it had received confirmation from Southern Cross that the proposed redundancies had been withdrawn and that it would “not detrimentally change people’s terms and conditions between now and transfer”.

The company has also said Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) regulations will apply to the transfer of all staff to new operators, meaning they would retain their current terms and conditions.

The landlords are expected to have decided the future of each care home by 1 August, with their formal transfer due to be complete by the end of October. Southern Cross will be “wound down” at this point.

The Department of Health has stated that no Southern Cross residents will find “themselves homeless or without care”.

A DH spokesperson said:  “The company has announced its intention to ensure a smooth transition of homes to landlords and new operators. We welcome the continued focus on maintaining continuity of care and to transfer care home staff to new operators on their current terms.”

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