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Care worker sacked while in hospital with coronavirus symptoms

BOSSES of a healthcare contractor have been slammed as “trigger happy” for sacking an employee who missed a disciplinary hearing because she was in hospital with coronavirus symptoms.

The unnamed woman’s husband suffered a fatal heart attack on the same day that she was sacked from 365 Support, which provides home care to people with severe mental or physical disabilities in Southport, Merseyside.

Public service union Unison says that the company is now delaying an appeal against the sacking until the pandemic is over, leaving the worker and her family with no income, possibly for months.

The union has called for her pay to be restored until the appeal is heard. The sacked employee worked for the company for five years.

Unison Sefton branch secretary Glen Williams said: “While the country claps for our carers, heartless company bosses have chosen to sack a care worker without even giving her a chance to defend herself.

“To add insult to injury, 365 Support is now trying to postpone the appeal because of Covid-19, leaving her and her family with no income.

“Trigger-happy bosses have jumped the gun and made a terrible situation even worse.”

Unison North West regional manager Kevin Lucas said: “This is a desperate case that’s made worse by the shocking way 365 Support has behaved.

“Sadly, this callous disregard for staff is commonplace in the social-care sector.

“Care workers are on the front line of the fight against this pandemic and are rightly cherished for the work they do.

“Yet a care employee was sacked on the worst day of her life without a chance to defend herself – that’s plainly wrong.”

The company said that it was not aware that the employee was in hospital when it sacked her for what it described as “a serious matter.”

“We have become indirectly aware that the staff member’s partner passed away a number of days after the hearing,” the firm said.

“We of course send our thoughts to the staff member and her family, however this does not take away from the serious nature behind her dismissal.”  

The company said that her pay would be backdated if she won an appeal.


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