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GMB Calls on Sunderland Council, the Health and Safety Executive and Acas to Conduct a Working Time Regulations Audit at Parseq Call Centre on Doxford Park, Sunderland

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Young people under 18 are required to work longer shifts and have less breaks than the Working Time Regulations state, says GMB Northern Region.

GMB, the union for workers at Parseq call centre on Doxford Park, is calling on Sunderland Council and the Health and Safety Executive and Acas to conduct an audit into the application of the working time regulations.

This call arises from concerns expressed to the union over the adherence by the company to the requirements of the Working Time Regulations (WTR) on the issues of breaks and limits to working hours.

The Working Time Regulations govern the hours employees can work and limit them to an average week of 48 hours; paid annual leave of 5.6 weeks a year; 11 consecutive hours rest in any 24 hour period; a 20 minute break if the working day is more than 6 hours; one day off each week; and a limit on working hours of night workers to an average of 8 hours in any 24 hour period.

There are special Regulations for young workers which limit their working hours to 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week.

They are entitled to 2 days off each week and a 30 minute rest break if they are working for more than 4.5 hours.

Sunderland Council is the responsible organisation for the enforcement of the maximum weekly working time limit at Parseq's call centre at Doxford Park.

GMB has written to Parseq to request a meeting to discuss a number of concerns which include these issues however to date the company has declined our offer.

Chris Preston, GMB Regional Organiser said:

“GMB members at Parseq have complained to the union that young people under 18 are required to work longer shifts and have fewer breaks than the Working Time Regulations state.

“Other people aged over 18, who have not ‘opted out’ of the regulations, end up working well above the 48 hour week, averaged out over 17 weeks.

“These concerns by GMB members should be investigated immediately and GMB calls on Sunderland Council, the Health and Safety Executive and Acas to conduct a Working Time Directive audit to check that the law is being adhered to and not being abused.

"GMB will cooperate fully with an audit.

“Certain jobs Parseq does for clients have forced overtime and on 3 days a week, Parseq requires every person on that contract to work an extra hour.

"This is not asked, it is just assumed and everyone must do it.

"Anyone who doesn't do the overtime is required to work a later shift on a Friday as punishment.

"This is exactly the sort of treatment that has forced GMB members to have to operate in secret inside Parseq like some sort of North East Underground Resistance.

"GMB's written request for a meeting with Parseq to discuss these and other concerns has been declined but our offer to meet remains open.”


Contact: Chris Preston, GMB regional officer, on 07870 176731 or GMB press office on 07958 156846 or at

Notes to editors:

[1] GMB Press release 3 May 2017

Conditions at Parseq are so unpleasant union members have to operate in secret like some sort of North East Underground Resistance.

Read more:

[2] List of Parseq clients:

Financial Services Public Sector Other
Bank of America Adur & Worthing councils 36 Bedford Row
Bank of Ireland Barnet Council 2 sisters Food Group
Barclaycard Brighton & Hove City Council 5 Essex Court
Barclays Buckinghamshire County Council Advanced Business Solutions
Clydesdale Bank Edinburgh City Council Amnesty International
Collectica Enforcement Services Green Party Apcoa Parking
Coutts Kingston upon Thames Council Beacon
Deutsche Bank Lambeth Council Belron
FirstData Lewisham Council Bottomline Technologies
Hastings Direct Reading Borough Council BP
HSBC Somerset County Council Coins
nectar Southwark Council Cool Milk
Sainsbury's Tower Hamlets Council CSE Healthcare Systems
Santander   dma
Sunlife Telecommunications ExxonMobil
Toyota Financial Services BT Furnival Chambers
Worldline e-payment services EE Lowell Group
Worldpay Virgin Media Matrix Chambers
Yorkshire Bank Vodafone MetalCashCard
Utilities   nsl services group
British Gas   Osborne
Centrica   P&G
EDF Energy   Philips
    SAB Miller
    Society of London Theatre
    South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive
    Suez environment
    The Caravan Club
    Vinci Construction
    Vision Express
    World Cancer Research Fund


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