Homelessness charity Crisis criticised by union boss after employee dismissal

18 Mar 2024 News

Hands holding paper house

By sewcream, Adobe

Homelessness charity Crisis UK has responded after a trade union boss criticised it on social media over its actions taken against an employee.

The charity’s chief operating officer Louise Harris said it was “regrettable that Crisis has had to dismiss a member of staff”, who was also a trade union representative.

Writing on social media, Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “The actions of Crisis UK against trade union reps will not be allowed to continue.

“Unite won’t tolerate attacks on our workplace representatives at the hands of hostile employers. 

“Crisis is on notice that this dispute will escalate unless they row back on their actions.

Harris said in response: “Dismissal is always a last resort - and we are acutely aware of the impact it has on the individual and those around them.

“We follow extremely thorough processes before coming to any decision. While we cannot comment on the specifics of this case, due to an on-going process, at its heart was a very serious matter. 

“We are firmly committed to working in partnership with our Unite representatives and their members – and know from the work we have done together that our staff benefit when we collaborate well.

“We always engage with our union representatives, as only together can we create the best possible workplace for our staff. We have made it clear that we wish to continue positive dialogue.”

80 redundancies from restructure

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the charity confirmed that it made 80 redundancies as a result of recent restructure.

Last year, the £65m charity proposed a restructure of its services, involving more than 100 roles being made redundant due to financial pressures.

In September, it confirmed the closure of two of its Skylight advice centres, one covering south Yorkshire, the other Coventry and Warwickshire.

“Last year we had to take the tough decision to carry out a restructure to ensure we are financially sustainable in the long-term and can continue to support people facing homelessness,” they said.

“Very sadly, this involved the closure of two services and 80 redundancies across the organisation.”

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