Embattled care operator Southern Cross Healthcare has revealed plans to shed as many as 3,000 jobs, sparking calls for a government bail-out.
Proposed job losses could include as 300 nurses, while 1,275 care positions, 238 maintenance jobs and 440 domestic posts could also face the axe.
The firm, which employs 44,000 people, said plans to cut 7% from the workforce were were part of a business plan put together 18 months ago to address 'staff effectiveness' in 750 homes. The firm takes care of 31,000 people on a residential basis.
This prompted calls from unions for government intervention to support the company, although the Department of Health warned that the issue is not its problem to sort out.
Consultation is under way on the cuts, as well as in the potential 'standard contract of employment' for new and existing workers. Southern Cross said it is committed to working with the GMB union to keep redundancies to a minimum, with the whole process to be completed by October.