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Southern Cross to cut 3,000 jobs

Thursday June 9th 2011

Around 3,000 staff at a crisis-hit car home operator are set to lose their jobs, it has been revealed.

The move is the latest blow to Southern Cross Healthcare which unveiled a £311 million loss in the six months to March 31.

The proposals to slash the workforce come after the business admitted that it was in a "critical financial condition".

Staff at Southern Cross will be reduced by almost 7% with the care home operator insisting the measures were essential in addressing "staff effectiveness" across its 750 properties.

The company, which is responsible for looking after some 31,000 residents, currently employs 44,000 staff.

Southern Cross said the cuts were part of its programme of change launched 18 months ago to address its financial difficulties.

The company is underpaying its rent by nearly a third until the end of September in a move to buy it time to find a longer-term solution to its woes.

As well as uncertainty over the future of the firm, staff and residents have faced speculation that as many as 200 homes could be closed or offloaded to other operators.

Paul Kenny, general secretary of the GMB trade union, called for financial backing from the Government to support Southern Cross.

He said: "This is the start of a disaster for the residents as well as a kick in the teeth for the staff.

"This is the trigger for the Government to step in with immediate financial support to ensure that Southern Cross continues to operate and continues to provide a home for 31,000 elderly and vulnerable residents looked after by 44,000 staff.

"The residents, their families and the staff demand immediate action from Government today."

Copyright © Press Association 2011

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