Major Marketing company pays workers just 80p an hour for 70 hour week

2014-01-07 Jennifer Renney-Butland posted:

The Guardian has recently reported that Britain's biggest specialist door-to-door marketing company, PerDM, whose clients include Vodafone, EDF, and Lovefilm, is being sued by two former workers who say it abused rules on self-employment to pay them the equivalent of 80p an hour for 70 plus hour weeks. They received an average of £60 for a six-day-a-week job selling loft insulation and subscriptions to LoveFilm, the DVD and video-on-demand company owned by Amazon.

The two workers were described as "self-employed and payable by commission only". However, Camille Meunier and Jamie Wright, whose cases are being brought by the GMB union, argues that they were in fact treated as employees and that the company's business model amounted to a "pyramid recruitment scam" in which it was "hiding behind a series of agency agreements". The two workers are seeking over £22,000 between them for breach of contract, unpaid wages and holiday pay.

The jobs were described as self-employed and payable by commission only. A legal claim by the GMB says the pair never saw their contracts and were obliged to sell or to attend team meetings from 10am to 10pm Monday to Saturday. There was no opportunity to vary the hours, a strict dress code was imposed and the company provided equipment such as iPads to show films, which GMB lawyers argue amounts to employee status.

Even if a company describes someone as self-employed, this must be reflected in the way they are actually treated, for example flexibility over hours and conditions.

Such reports in the media highlight the fact that many workers are being forced to work at well below minimum wage and are unaware of their rights to salary, holiday pay, and other benefits, or to claim for unlawful deduction of wages under the Employment Rights Act.

For more information, please contact Jennifer Renney at info@renneyandco.com or on 01225 632240.

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