Care home workers 'struggling to buy Christmas presents' after cyber attack causes pay shortfall

Workers at Aaron House in Penicuik did not receive their full salaries in November.

Wednesday, 4th December 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 4th December 2019, 9:30 am
Aaron House in Penicuik.

Workers at a Penicuik care home are ‘struggling to pay bills and buy Christmas presents’ as they have not been paid their full wages due to a cyber attack on the company.

Staff at Aaron House, run by New Century Care, are still owed wages due to be paid on November 22.

The shortfall, which one staff member claims to be as high as £1,100, is due to a cyber attack on the third-party software business which runs New Century Care’s IT systems.

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“We’re skint. We’re having to borrow from family members, we can’t buy Christmas presents,” said the carer, who did not wish to be named.

“I don’t have enough money to cover my direct debits. We’re all really stressed,” she said.

“A lot of us are single parents. We’re all trying to help each other out.

“We feel completely undervalued, no one has even said sorry,” she added.

She claims she usually takes home £1,500 a month including overtime, but received just £400 on November 22.

The security breach affected other companies which use Civica systems, as well as the roughly 450 staff of New Century Care, around 90 of whom work at Aaron House.

Staff there were told on November 22 that there had been a ‘security breach’ with the IT system the company uses, and that any shortfall in wages should be paid from Tuesday 26.

This predicted payment was later pushed back to Friday 29.

Staff have still not been paid the shortfall.

The company has offered a same-day interest-free loan to cover salary shortfall until the next payday, but so far only one staff member has requested a loan.

A New Century Care spokesperson said: “We are committed to ensuring that no staff member is negatively affected by this unfortunate event.

“As soon as we were made aware about the platform shut-down, we immediately communicated with staff at the home to inform them about the short-fall in salary and offer them support followed by a same-day, interest-free loan to cover any shortfall until their next payment date.

They added: “No resident or staff data is at risk.”