Children’s unit staff still battling for unpaid wages

Closed - Soteria House at Anwick. EMN-190307-172513001
Closed - Soteria House at Anwick. EMN-190307-172513001

Staff made redundant after a school and residential unit for children with special needs closed down are still awaiting pay and employment paperwork to get on with their lives as their employers have been delayed handing matters over to liquidators.

The Standard previously reported in May how In Mind children’s services, the owners of Soteria House in Anwick, closed the unit for financial reasons, making 57 staff redundant. Ofsted confirmed it had suspended the registration for the children’s home over safeguarding issues on May 3.

The employers pledged to pay staff for any time worked, but Michaela Bonomini, an independent human resources consultant who has offered to represent staff for free, says information has not been forthcoming for increasingly desperate staff.

She says a number of staff have contacted In Mind chasing for employment data as liquidators Cork Gully had still not been appointed and Soteria House Ltd had not yet issued notice of insolvency to creditors.

Ms Bonomini claimed the lack of regard has left staff “high and dry” with no money. “People are having to cut off their phones, wifi, car insurance, put their homes on the market.”

A spokesperson for Soteria House Ltd confirmed payment for time worked will only be possible through the liquidation process with Cork Gully, but that process was “unfortunately delayed”.

He went on: “We have been transparent about this delay and staff were informed in writing as soon as it became apparent.” He expected the liquidator to take up its role on or before July 15, while all requests for data were being dealt with in strict accordance with GDPR.

“We have nominated a named point of contact for all staff and that person has been and continues to be in regular contact with various ex-members of staff on a regular basis.”