Newcrosshealthcare employee review – £50 fine for being ill?

 

Mostly good, too corporate. A very “mixed” four years.

newcrossWhen I first joined, the Brighton branch was run by a very good manager. For the likes of me (healthcare assistant and support worker, on and off for twenty years, including a great deal of agency experience) and qualified RGNs, there was plenty of work available (mostly in care homes) and we were very well supported. After the manager suddenly left, things went slowly downhill. They’ve recently closed the Brighton branch, running any remaining business from Eastbourne.

Pros and cons

Holiday pay is included in the hourly rate. Pay is not bad but they pull a bit of a fast one by including “holiday pay” in the hourly rates. It may look as though you are being paid more than other care agencies – often around £8.00 for day shifts (below a real living wage), more for nights and weekends – it’s actually about the same or slightly less than other agencies.

Variable management. At least at the branch where I was. One stand-in manager was extremely insensitive during an annual staff review and I made my feelings clear to her and to the regional manager at the time. Newcross can be overly corporate, the word care in Newcrosshealthcare is sometimes overlooked – I had to stand up to them a few times.

newcross2The £50 fine “cancellation fee”, including if you are ill! What on earth are they on about!? It may discourage people from phoning in sick last minute but it really upsets and undermines staff. Fortunately, I’m in good health so this outrageous policy only affected me a couple of times. On more than one occasion, I worked with Newcross staff who had come into work with stinking flu in a care home, rather than go through the hassle of the £50 cancellation process i.e. getting a refund after a doctor’s note.

The call centre in Devon is sometimes at odds with the local branch. At one stage I put in a complaint about an incredibly rude and unprofessional call worker. At other times I would ring in to register my availability (Newcross tend to be a bit obsessed with this) and would later find out that it hadn’t been put on the system. On the whole though, most staff were doing a good job, some were lovely people.

Continually recruiting new staff when there aren’t enough shifts for existing staff. Newcross regularly sent me enthusiastic text messages, reminding me how I can earn a bonus for recommending people to work locally. Fair enough if there was plenty of work to go round but this was often far from the case!

newcrosstwitterMostly good but too corporate. Newcross sometimes seem a bit too concerned with their self-described corporate mission “to dominate the market”, rather than respecting their staff at all levels. Despite that, thank you to them for helping me pay the bills for the last four years, I made some good friends and enjoyed much of the work particularly the many regular homes and clients. I know from experience that some agencies are worse. I’m now at a smaller, more local agency which is generally a bit more human.

A shortened version of the above has been posted on indeed.co.uk, the job website.

2 Responses to Newcrosshealthcare employee review – £50 fine for being ill?

  1. JbOLL13 says:

    My partner recently had this issue after our car broke down the day before her shift. We tried everything to get her to work. It was in the community so we would need someone to take her and then drive her around. We looked at hiring a car, and it was cheaper to take the hit of the £50.

    I did call ACAS and they said that if someone is on minimum wage then this charge is not lawful

    • Tim says:

      Yes, I often wondered if it was legal.

      Did you manage to get the £50 back? I knew several staff who did but others gave up if they couldn’t get hold of their doctor to write a note, or they had other problems proving they were genuine.

      The good manager (who I started with) waived the cancellation fee for me on one occasion when she could see in person that I was genuine. Most staff were not treated so well.

      I assumed it must be legal as Newcross are open about it? Perhaps not. It stinks – and Newcross are well aware that it stinks! Of course they justify it with the old “Our clients know that they can count on our staff, it helps us maintain high standards blah blah”. Fair enough, they are obviously not always bothered about keeping staff happy – which is why many leave.

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