PLANNED redundancies and cuts in pay and conditions for staff at Southern Cross have been withdrawn following the news that the care homes giant is to shut down.

The GMB union said it had learned of the next steps in the planned transfer of the firm’s 750 care homes to landlords, a move aimed at securing jobs and reassuring 31,000 elderly residents. The union said a written agreement was being prepared to enable the sale of each home to make sure that the transition was “smooth and orderly”.

Plans for 3,000 redundancies and changes to the terms and conditions of staff have been withdrawn, the union revealed.

The first 250 homes could complete a transfer to new owners by the end of September, with the rest following by the end of October, which is when Southern Cross will be wound down, said the GMB.

In Huddersfield, the firm runs Abbey Place Care Centre, Fartown; Alwoodleigh Care Centre, Edgerton; Botham Hall, Milnsbridge; Bryan Wood Care Centre, Edgerton; and Astley Grange, Fartown.

GMB national officer Justin Bowden said: “GMB now know that it was the landlords who pulled the plug on Southern Cross.”

Mr Bowden said it was “completely unacceptable” that the landlords and the outgoing management should be the only parties to have a say in what happened next at each home.

He said the decision-making process should also include residents and their families, local councils and the NHS who pay the bills, the workforce who manage and run the homes, the GMB, Governments from across the UK and the Care Quality Commission.