Housing staff fear for jobs and standards

A Dales Housing employee fears that jobs could be lost and tenants left without 
support when a new company takes control of sheltered housing.

Monday, 1st April 2013, 6:45 am

On April 1, Making Space will take control of all Dales Housings’ Category 1 schemes – which house around 350 elderly and vulnerable residents.

But the employee, who wishes to remain anonymous, still does not know if the new company intends to keep 25 members of staff – eight from Dales Housing and 17 from Three Valleys – in their current positions.

The employee explained that Making Space do not recognise the Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment regulations (TUPE) – which protects employees’ terms and conditions of employment when a business is transferred from one owner to another.

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“Making Space will not recognise the TUPE arrangements and Dales Housing are saying there is no work for us from April 1.

“So there will be no work and no redundancy package from either firm,” said the employee.

“Would you believe that Dales Housing has just been awarded a place in the top 100 best firms to work for?

“I wonder if they know what they are really like?”

But it’s not just jobs that the employee is concerned about.

“Making Space have the responsibility of providing support for around 350 tenants in the Derbyshire Dales area at a very reduced rate,” said the employee.

“And the tenants – who have been getting a daily visit depending on how they are assessed – could get as little as one visit a month or a visit a week.

“So they are worried that they are going to be neglected and left without adequate support.”

A Dales Housing spokesperson explained that the company had been running the service “successfully” for the last ten years.

However, when the contract came up for renewal, Dales Housing did not believe they could offer the same level of service given the “reduced funding available” and so declined to renew.

The spokesperson said: “We did this on the understanding that those staff directly affected by the decision would be protected by the TUPE regulations and transfer to the new provider, Making Space.

“We recognise that this is an unsettling situation for the staff and tenants involved.”

The Mercury approached Making Space for a statement, but they declined to comment.

What do YOU think about the changes at Dales Housing? Let us know.

Email your views to [email protected] or write to us at Matlock Mercury, Station Road, Chesterfield, S41 7XD