An Aberdeen care worker has warned families could be left “destitute” by a council decision not to renew fixed-term contracts in the midst of the coronavirus crisis.
Josh Mennie, 26, is employed as a support worker by Aberdeen City Council on a contract which is set to expire on June 23.
In the past, the contracts have been renewed – but Josh, from Northfield, and some of his colleagues have now been told they will not be kept on.
Now he fears he will be unable to find work until the Covid-19 pandemic has passed.
And Josh believes families could face severe financial trouble as a result of the decision.
He has called on the council to rethink its decision to end the contracts.
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Josh said: “It’s normal for us to be on fixed-term contracts and they are normally renewed. However, we have been told we will be losing our jobs on June 23.
“It feels like the council is using this as an opportunity to save a bit of cash to the detriment of the people who work for it.
“A lot of people and families are going to be left destitute by this decision.
“Since I found out I have been trying to find another job but the only place where there are any jobs is Glasgow, so I would have to leave Aberdeen.
“As far as I am aware the health and social care budget is protected, so the council would be able to keep us on.
“They need to do the right thing and think again about this.”
Local authorities are not able to use the UK Government’s job retention (furlough) scheme.
Aberdeen City Council insisted the ending of the contracts was not directly related to the pandemic.
A spokeswoman said: “We do not comment on an individual employee’s contract with the council.
“In certain circumstances the council employs individuals on fixed term contracts, for example maternity cover, where we would employ an individual to cover for the period that the employee was on maternity leave.
“In other situations, the council may employ an individual on a fixed term contract to undertake a defined piece of work.
“It would be made clear at the outset that in such circumstances the contract is for a fixed period.
Fixed term contracts may be extended but only where there is an on-going operational need, otherwise such contracts come to an end at the originally agreed end date.
“We can confirm that no fixed term contracts have been ended, either on or before the expected end date, as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic.”