Show us the money! – Sunderland care home staff furious as they wait to be paid

St Martha's in Thornhill Park, Ashbrooke.
St Martha's in Thornhill Park, Ashbrooke.
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STAFF from a closed Sunderland care home are furious after they failed to receive pay.

About a dozen workers from St Martha’s in Thornhill Park, Ashbrooke, were expecting to be given their wages yesterday, but have still not received their cash.

It’s absolutely deplorable the way we have been treated.

Care home worker

It comes after the home closed yesterday, as bosses said it was no longer a viable business because only 13 of its 24 rooms were filled.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) raised concerns after its most recent inspection, including issues over how it dealt with residents’ medicines to requirements regarding staff, and told bosses it must improve after the visit at the start of the year.

Home bosses say their decision to close was not based on the inspection results and say the check also highlighted many positive points.

When the Echo reported the home closure on Saturday, bosses said staff would remain employed.

However, workers now say they do not have jobs and are struggling after the business failed to pay their salaries.

Bosses pledged to help staff try and find new work and that wages would be paid at a later date.

One worker told the Echo: “It’s absolutely deplorable the way we have been treated.

“We’re devastated the home is closed, it’s our jobs.

“But we expected to be paid our wages. We have mortgages and bills to pay.”

Gwen Swalwell, the home’s director, said: “All the staff members were informed at a meeting on March 25 regarding the closure of the home and the late payment of wages.

“They knew, and the staff have been very committed and loyal, and we will endeavour to help and support them to find new employment and they will be paid in full.”

She added she was in negotiations with the home’s bank and keeping to employment law to pay the staff.

Sunderland City Council’s social services department have been helping the home’s staff move residents into new homes, with efforts being made by the council and the home to keep friends together.

Bosses say the in-home service it runs for people still in their own accommodation will continue without impact.