The wealthy managing director of a Yorkshire care home who told staff she can't afford to pay them until after Christmas has sparked outrage after apparently posting photos of her luxury lifestyle online.
Claire Fryer, 36, uploaded photos of a recent shopping trip to London in which she boasts about 'treating herself' to a £195 Liberty Advent calendar and designer coat.
She also spoke of enjoying room service and champagne during Christmas trips to Edinburgh and Newcastle last week.
However, the photos have angered staff employed at a care home owned and managed by a company headed by Mrs Fryer and who lives in a £1.4m home.
They were posted just days after staff at the troubled care home Radcliffe Gardens in Pudsey, Leeds were told they would not be paid until at least mid-January.
Mrs Fryer - managing director of the Alder Health Group which runs the home - emailed staff saying wages would not be given their wages due to ‘financial difficulties’.
The wages blow came after the home was placed in special measures and 20 residents were warned they would have to leave as it had been issued with a ‘notice of intended closure’.
The email to staff read: “Due to the fact that all residents have been found alternative care placements, the business has been disrupted unexpectedly and is facing serious financial issues.
“We are doing all we can, however as a small family business and with the recent investments, there is no surplus funds available.
“A payment was expected by December 7 for the continued service.
"This payment hasn’t been received and the business is not expecting any further payments.”
Lee Naylor, who works as a cook at Radcliffe Gardens, said staff were frantic with worry but their pleas had “fallen on deaf ears”.
She said: “I texted Mrs Fryer asking when to expect my wages as my mortgage is due tomorrow. She told me I wouldn’t be getting paid until at least mid-January.
“The Liberty advent calendar she’s bragging about cost more than what my mortgage is. I explained to her I had no way of paying it.
“I have no savings. It’s cruel how she is treating the staff and residents.
“December 10 should have been payday, and a bumper payday at that, which was for November's work.
"Bearing in mind we have been short staffed and staff have had to work extra hours and have gone above and beyond our roles.
“All of us have families and for some this job is their only source of income. Two weeks before Christmas and we have no wage and no job.”
Mrs Fryer’s Alder Health Group, which is registered in Preston, Lancashire owns and operates Radcliffe Gardens Nursing Home.
The troubled care home had been put into special measures by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in June.
A damning report by the CQC exposed a number of concerns, regarding fire safety, medicine management, and the absence of a registered manager on site.
The home was found to be in breach of regulations and was issued with a ‘notice of intended closure’.
Concerned social workers took urgent action in November and told the families of all 20 residents they would have to leave.
Mrs Fryer appealed to the care tribunal services and a review hearing date has been set for March 2019, but many people had already removed their relatives from the home.
The care home remains open but with no residents.
Mrs Fryer told staff the action taken by Leeds City Council caused her company serious financial issues and left her unable to pay their wages.
As a result, staff were told that they wouldn’t be paid until at least mid-January 2019, but Leeds City Council disputed Mrs Fryer’s claims that the company has not been paid.
A spokesman said: “Leeds City Council has rigorously checked to ensure that all fees due to be paid in respect of Radcliffe Gardens Nursing Homes by the council have been paid.
“There is no evidence of overdue payments or money owed.
“We have done our best to support staff from the home, signposting them to organisations who can offer support in these circumstances.”
Mrs Fryer has been contacted for comment.