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From Yorkshire Post, 4th July 2017
Written by Jim Seton

ILKLEY'S MP John Grogan has stepped in to a row over redundancy pay at an Ilkley care home.Mr Grogan visited Hollycroft Care Home in Hebers Ghyll Drive after its closure was announced in June. During that visit Mr Grogan said the acting regional manager promised him that staff would get three months pay. However, he was later contacted by staff members who told the company had gone back on its word.

Mr Grogan said: "I am writing to the CEO of Four Seasons Tim Hammond to ask that they honour their promises to the staff."

Mr Grogan also raised the matter in his first speech in Parliament at MP for the Keighley constituency on June 28 when he said: "Our social care is in crisis. Age UK says that one million over-65s do not receive the care they want. Many of the big care providers are under financial strain, so I hope the Secretary of State has a plan in case one of them keels over in the next few months. I visited the Hollycroft care home in Ilkley, which is due to close. Four Seasons, which manages the care home, assured me that all the workers would get three months’ pay, but it now seems to be going back on that—I hope Four Seasons revises its opinion. In short, we need to value all care workers more, we need to pay them more and we need to provide more training and more career paths."

A spokesman for Four Seasons Health Care said: "We have been in contact with Mr Grogan and have said that we are sorry there has been some misunderstanding or miscommunication about the closure of Hollycroft Care Home and the terms that would apply for those colleagues whose roles may become redundant.

"Colleagues in the home will receive their contractual or statutory entitlement, which may be up to 12 weeks’ notice of redundancy or payment in lieu of notice, dependent upon length of service.

"We announced to colleagues and to residents and relatives on 8 June that we intended to close the home because it was financially unviable. We effectively had been paying to provide care and this couldn't be sustained.

"The following day, we began a 30-day statutory consultation process with colleagues in the home, together with union representation. During the consultation, our HR colleagues met with colleagues individually to explain the closure process, answer questions and tell them what it would mean for each of them, including an explanation of their individual redundancy entitlement.

"During the consultation meetings a small number of colleagues raised questions about a 90-day consultation period. It seems this may have arisen partly as a result of a misunderstanding or miscommunication around redundancy notice, during an informal conversation with a regional manager. It was also apparent that some of these colleagues had looked online to research about redundancy entitlement and had misunderstood the information they found and whether it applied to them. The was corrected in the meetings."

The spokesman added there were no residents remaining at the home which will close in the coming week.