STAFF at a day centre which is set to close unexpectedly this year say they have been threatened with losing out on pay if they speak to the press.

National charity Home Farm Trust announced this month that it plans to close its Milton Heights centre, which looks after more than 100 adults with disabilities, in May.

The news were met with outrage from family members and social workers, with many saying the announcement was ‘handled appallingly’.

Read more: Disabled adults and children 'traumatised' by sudden day centre closure

One staff member at the day centre, who wished to remain anonymous, claimed that HFT’s policies prevent workers from speaking to the media about the announcement, otherwise they would face losing out on 'retainer pay' for working at the site until it closes.

The trust denied that it had place any kind of 'gagging order' on staff.

However spokeswoman Suzanne Fry said: "Like any employer we would of course expect our staff to conduct themselves professionally throughout their employment with us.

"Whilst we understand that this announcement has been upsetting for many people we would still encourage our staff to deliver care to the professional standards for which they are known.

"Any discussions regarding proposed retention payments are still at early stages but would need to reflect our ongoing expectations of professional conduct."