Friday, 6 September 2013

Brent Council doesn't know how many contracted out workers are on 'zero hours' contracts

With so many services out-sourced by Brent Council the issue of their workers' conditions of employment  is of major interest to council tax payers. Following a conversation with a Civic Centre security guard, who revealed that he was on a zero hours contract, I put a Freedom of Information request to the Council asking how many workers of organisations supplying out-sourced services to Brent Council were on such contracts.

Brent Labour councillors have voiced concerns about such contracts and the administration is committed to the London Living Wage. However, this means little if procurement procedures do not ensure that out-sourced workers enjoy proper contracts with sick pay, holiday pay and pension entitlement and at the LLW or above.

The Council, under immense financial pressure, can distance itself from poor employment conditions, by handing responsibility over to the private companies involved. However, if they have been pursuing best financial value as the main criterion for awarding contracts, they collude in insecure employment and low wages.

This is Brent Council's response to my Freedom of Information request  LINK  for information on  the number of Council employees and contractors supplying Council services on zero hours contracts:
Brent does not have employees on zero hour contracts but does utilise the
services of casual workers for specific activities.

We do not hold information on employment statuses within contracted
My follow up request states:
I am afraid that this reply is not satisfactory. As the Council has been critical of 'zero hours' contracts and is committed to the London Living Wage I feel it is incumbent on the Council to ensure that workers in contracted organisations providing council services, enjoy the conditions that the Council advocates.

I therefore request that Brent Council follows up this request by ascertaining from contracted organisations:
1. The number and proportion of workers supplying Brent services paid the London Living Wage or higher.
2. The number and proportion of workers supplying Brent services on zero hours or casual contracts.

1 comment:

Trevor said...

I Wonder if brent council knows or even cares that litter collection on chalk-hill road has fallen to such low standards that it is the norm now to see bushes filled with all types of garbage and street bins overflowing with uncollected bags of rubbish?
it really offends me and upsets every time I see it
and it appears as if the council does not care?
but yet we are expected to pay £66 per month council tax and yet standards are ever increasingly low around this area.
that to me is unjust and extremely unfair but yet it does not surprise me because I say again that any and I really mean any borough that has shops that provide the local people with the means to destroy their health and I'm once again referring to smoking and cigarettes, I say that the people in that area will inevitably suffer and not just because of the self abuse by smoking, but because it is obvious that the local authorities are exploiting the people.
but it always starts from the top i.e. the government.
they permit the exploitation and the local authorities fall over themselves to set it up in order to fill their coffers with money
because that is always what that kind of thing is inspired from.
the leaders walk around in expensive flash suits, posing for the camera's making big empty speeches, pointing the finger at each other, etc etc etc, but yet the reality is they can be judged by the low standards that is clearly seen in this borough.
I would prefer bee's to be in the position of the council if it were possible because if you look at the way those small little things organize themselves, they do a far better job than all the councils put together.