Sacked boss sues church-run nursing homes
A CHURCH-run aged care operator is being sued by its sacked chief executive - and is now demanding a taxpayer bailout to cover multimillion-dollar losses.
Sacked PresCare boss Greg Skelton is suing the Presbyterian Church-owned nursing home provider for $2.36 million in lost wages and damages.
PresCare, which operates five nursing homes in Queensland, made a $12.6 million loss last year, its latest financial report reveals.
Mr Skelton was stood down in February, just two years into a five-and-a-half-year contract, and a month before he retired from the board of the scandal-plagued Presbyterian and Methodist Schools Association (PMSA).
Mr Skelton, who declined to be interviewed by The Sunday-Mail, spent five years as chairman of PMSA's audit, finance and risk committee.
A group of disgruntled parents from the PMSA's four elite private schools - Clayfield College, Somerville House, Brisbane Boys' College and Sunshine Coast Grammar School - demanded the resignation of the board's "old guard'', including Mr Skelton, last November.
Mr Skelton's legal action against PresCare is unrelated to his time on the PMSA board.
In his statement of claim, filed in the Supreme Court of Queensland, Mr Skelton said PresCare paid him a $500,000 annual salary package that included a $430,000 salary, the use of two cars worth $35,000, a $10,000 education allowance, superannuation payments and a $7000 "health and wellbeing'' allowance.
He said PresCare sacked him without reason, paid him $165,384 in lieu of notice and ordered him to leave the building at a late-night meeting on February 20 at PresCare's headquarters in Milton.
Mr Skelton alleges that PresCare knew that by terminating his contract, he would suffer financial loss and damage, stress, and emotional or psychological pain and suffering.
He also alleges that PresCare knew he would suffer "a loss, or damage to his reputation'' among church ministers and "elders''.
Mr Skelton alleges that PresCare's action was "nonsensical, harsh and unreasonable'' as he had "never received any negative comments or concerns about his performance or conduct''.
He had worked as PresCare's CEO since 2013, and previously as its chief financial officer for 11 years.
PresCare operates five nursing homes in the Brisbane suburbs of Carina and Thornlands, and in Townsville, Rockhampton and Maryborough.
The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (ACQSC) deemed PresCare's Protea Townsville nursing home to be a "serious risk'' to residents after failing a quality inspection in April last year.
ACQSC reaccredited the service after it passed an audit in January.
A federal Health Department spokeswoman confirmed yesterday that PresCare is seeking extra taxpayer funding through the federal government's $850 million COVID-19 assistance scheme.
"The department is not aware of an intention for any PresCare aged care services to close,'' she said.
PresCare's new chief executive, Wayne Knapp, told The Sunday Mail that the "mobility aid supply arms and related non-core operations are likely to be sold as they are not core to PresCare's provision of residential aged care''.
Mr Knapp said it was inappropriate to comment on Mr Skelton's departure as the matter was before the courts.
PresCare has not filed a response to Mr Skelton's statement of claim in the Supreme Court.
Know more? firstname.lastname@example.org
Originally published as Sacked boss sues church-run nursing homes