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Del Boy Jobs Agency At M&S Swindon Depot

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

GMB Slam M&S For £29m Contract To "Del Boy" Agency Registered At Worthing Ex Council Flat To Supply Workers At Swindon Distribution Depot

M&S are in breach of their own code of Ethics with their systematic exploitation of low paid and vulnerable workers says GMB.

GMB, the union for Marks and Spencer distribution workers in Swindon, has discovered that the registered office of Tempay Ltd, the employment agency that supplies workers to the Swindon depot  under a £29m contract, is a 2 bedroom ex-council flat in Worthing and that the company is in breach of company regulations. See notes to editors for copies of previous GMB press releases on the dispute between GMB and M&S at the Swindon distribution depot.

GMB has lodged an official complaint to Companies House against Tempay Ltd, about a potential breach of The Company, Limited Liability Partnership and Business (Names and Trading Disclosures) Regulations 2015. See notes to editors for a copy of the letter.

Potential breaches of the 2015 Regulations include the non display of Tempay Ltd’s registered name at its registered office and non disclosure of its registered name, number or address on business letters. See notes to editors for more details about potential breaches.

The distribution centre is owned by M&S and run on their behalf by DHL. DHL uses an employment agency, 24-7 Recruitment Services, to recruit and manage these agency staff but their contracts of employment are provided by Tempay Ltd.

Official records at Companies House show the address of Tempay Ltd’s registered office is 4 Hamilton Court, Drake Avenue, Goring-by-Sea, Worthing, West Sussex BN12 6ER.

Tempay has a turnover of £29m per annum, employ no HR department or managers but employ 2,396 staff who are supplied as agency workers.

GMB visited the address in Worthing but it was clear that this is a residential address and there is no signage to indicate that it is the registered office of Tempay Ltd. The occupant denied that it is the registered office of Tempay Ltd.

Workers employed by Tempay Ltd in Swindon are employed on the minimum wage of £6.70 per hour. Directly employed DHL workers doing exactly the same work, are paid up to £2 per hour higher than Tempay staff. Many of the Tempay staff have worked on the site for several years. Tempay staff are only guaranteed 7 hours per week but are given a rota for 37.5 hours.

Earlier this year GMB commenced legal proceedings on behalf of members employed at the Marks and Spencer Distribution Centre in Swindon. The legal claims brought by GMB, on behalf its members, are against all four companies: DHL, Wincanton, 24-7 Recruitment Services, and Tempay Ltd.

The claims relate to the Agency Worker Regulations, which came into effect in 2011, and which guarantee equal pay for agency workers after a qualifying period of 12 weeks. A loophole in the law, known as the Swedish Derogation, allows employers to evade these provisions for equal pay, by guaranteeing a few hours of work each week.

Carole Vallelly, GMB Regional Organiser, says: “M&S claim to be have an ethical supply chain, but from our dealings with Tempay Ltd, they are more like Only Fools and Horses. While Del Boy Trotter might have been a loveable rogue, Tempay is engaged in systematic exploitation of low paid and vulnerable workers.

We believe that a deliberately confusing rats nest of relationships between these companies is used so that staff don’t even know who they work for, and in the case of Tempay’s employees, the company lacks the management and governance infrastructure to properly discharge their duties as an employer. This is clearly unethical and in breach of what looks like increasingly hypocritical claims by M&S to be an ethical business.

Either this address is not the registered office of Tempay Ltd, and Companies House have been misinformed in breach of the legal reporting requirements, or it  is the registered office of Tempay Ltd, and Tempay has failed to comply with the requirements of the Regulations to provide signage at their registered office.  Furthermore, Tempay Ltd do not use the display the registered address on their business letter.

The behaviour of Tempay Ltd makes a mockery of M&S claim, in their Global Supply Principles that require transparency and legal compliance from their suppliers.

GMB is calling for a full investigation by Company’s House. GMB is also calling on Marks and Spencer to investigate why several hundreds of staff employed permanently in their own distribution chain are given employment contracts by a company operating out of a 2 bedroom residential flat, despite an annual turnover of £29 million."

Ends

Contact: GMB Wiltshire branch secretary, Andy Newman on 0754 0859 227, or GMB Regional Organiser, Carole Vallelly on 07912 181476 or Kevin Brandstatter 07813 207374 or Chris Watts on 01793 818 005 or 07776 238 327 GMB Press Office 07921 289 880 or 07974 251823

Notes to Editors

1 According to Tempay Ltd’s accounts, in 2014 they supplied an average 57,067 hours of labour per week, a large proportion of this to the M&S supply chain.

 2 Under Part 6, 21 (1) of the Regulations, a Company must 'display its registered name at (a) its registered office' also 23 (1) a Company is required to display its registered name at any office, place or location and 23 (2)(a) shall be so positioned that it may be easily seen by any visitor to that office, place or location, and (b) shall be displayed continuously.

3 Part 6 (25)(1) further particulars must appear in business letters, order forms and websites, to disclose amongst other things the address of the company’s registered office.

4 On 11th September 2015 Tempay Ltd advised Companies House that the address of its registered office had changed to  4 Hamilton Court, Drake Avenue Goring-by-Sea Worthing West Sussex BN12 6ER.

5 Details of the property are here: http://www.zoopla.co.uk/property-history/4-hamilton-court/drake-avenue/goring-by-sea/worthing/bn12-6er/1001963

6 On visiting the above address it is clear that it is a residential address and that there is no signage to indicate that it is the registered office of Tempay Ltd. Furthermore, on making enquiries at the address the occupant denied that it is the registered office of Tempay Ltd.

7 There is an apparent breach of regulation 7 which requires a company to include the address of the company’s registered office on business letters. GMB is in receipt of letters sent out by Tempay after 11th September 2015, displaying the address Blackwood House, Blackwood Business Park, Ash Road South, Wrexham Industrial Estate, LL13 9UG.

8 M&S Global Sourcing Principles:

http://corporate.marksandspencer.com/documents/policy-documents/global-sourcing-principles.pdf

9 Copy of letter sent to Companies House

Date:  16 February 2016

Companies House
Crown Way
Cardiff
CF14 3UZ

Dear Sirs

Re: 08182413 TEMPAY LTD

I write to advise of a potential breach of the Company, Limited Liability Partnership and Business (Names and Trading Disclosures) Regulations 2015 (“The Regulations”) and to request that you take action to investigate and take enforcement action if necessary.

Under Part 6, 21 (1) of the Regulations, a Company must 'display its registered name at (a) its registered office' also 23 (1) a Company is required to display its registered name at any office, place or location and 23 (2)(a) shall be so positioned that it may be easily seen by any visitor to that office, place or location, and (b) shall be displayed continuously. 

On 11 September 2015 Tempay Ltd advised Companies House that the address of its registered office had changed to 4 Hamilton Court, Drake Avenue Goring-by-Sea Worthing West Sussex, BN12 6ER.

On visiting the above address it is clear that it is a residential address and that there is no signage to indicate that it is the registered office of Tempay Ltd.  Furthermore, on making enquiries at the address the occupant denied that it is the registered office of Tempay Ltd.

This would appear to suggest that either this address is not the registered office of Tempay Ltd, and that Companies House have been misinformed in breach of reporting requirements, or that it is the registered office of Tempay Ltd, and that the Company have failed to comply with the requirements of Part 6 of the Regulations.

Also, under Part 6 (25)(1) further particulars must appear in business letters, order forms and websites, to disclose amongst other things the address of the company’s registered office.

Business letter from Tempay Ltd do not show the address of the company's registered office, instead they show the address "Blackwood House, Blackwood Business Park, Ash Road South, Wrexham Industrial Estate, LL13 9UG".  It would appear the company are in breach of Part 6 25 (1)(a).  Please see attached letter from Tempay as evidence.

I would therefore be grateful if you would investigate this matter with a view to taking enforcement action if necessary. I would also be appreciative if you would let me know the outcome of your investigation.

Yours faithfully

Carole Vallelly

Regional Organiser

10 GMB press release dated 8th October 2015

GMB PROTEST ON FRI 9TH OCTOBER AT MARKS AND SPENCER SWINDON OVER TWO TIER WORKFORCE AT M&S SWINDON DEPOT

Mothers on the bus on their way into work at M&S depot, having left their children with child-minders, get text messages saying they are not needed that day says GMB

GMB, the union for Marks and Spencer (M&S) distribution workers in Swindon, is to hold a protest demonstration outside Marks and Spencer store in Swindon to protest at two tier workforce and work practices at the depot. This is the second in a series of protest outside M&S stores across the country in support of the M&S Swindon depot workers.

The details of the protest are as follows:
At 12.00 noon Friday 9th October,
outside M&S store,81 Regent Street,Swindon,Wiltshire, SN1 1JY.

There will be members with flags and banners.

Marks and Spencer own this Distribution Centre. They contract the running of the site to logistics company, DHL. They in turn recruit several hundred workers through the recruitment agency, 24-7 Recruitment Services. These workers have an employment contract through yet another company, Tempay Ltd. DHL took over the contract to run the site in January 2015, which was previously run by another logistics company, Wincanton.

Workers employed by Tempay Ltd are employed on the minimum wage of £6.70 per hour. Directly employed DHL workers doing exactly the same work, are paid up to £2 per hour higher than Tempay staff. Many of the Tempay staff have worked on the site for several years. Tempay staff are only guaranteed 7 hours per week but are given a rota for 37.5 hours.

Earlier this year GMB commenced legal proceedings on behalf of members employed at the Marks and Spencer Distribution Centre in Swindon. The legal claims brought by GMB, on behalf its members, are against all four companies: DHL, Wincanton, 24-7 Recruitment Services, and Tempay Ltd.

The claims relate to the Agency Worker Regulations, which came into effect in 2011, and which guarantee equal pay for agency workers after a qualifying period of 12 weeks. A loophole in the law, known as the Swedish Derogation, allows employers to evade these provisions for equal pay, by guaranteeing a few hours of work each week.

Carole Vallelly, GMB Regional Organiser, said "This GMB protest is against the company getting round the law on equal pay for agency staff by the use of the Swedish Derogation.

The South Marston site is operated wholly for Marks and Spencer. It is clear that the treatment of these workers is in breach of both M&S' Code of Ethics and Behaviour and also in breach of M&S' Global Sourcing Principles. The Global Sourcing Principles require each of M&S' suppliers, whether of goods or services, to comply with all relevant laws and regulations relating to terms of employment. See notes to editors for links to M&S global sourcing policies and M&S Code of Ethics.

GMB is pressing M&S to investigate the working practices at the South Marsden site.

There are mothers on the bus on their way into work having left their children with child-minders who get text messages saying they are not needed that day. Although the employer cancels work days for our members with no notice, our members are being disciplined for being unavailable for work through sickness just three times in six months.

In normal jobs, the employer guarantees work, and pays people for doing it. In this M&S distribution centre people have to be available for work every day, but are not then offered that work or paid. This is like modern day slavery. What makes it worse is that the disciplinary proceedings do not refer to any policy in the employees handbook, and it seems that 24-7 Recruitment Services, and Tempay Ltd just make the rules up as they go along.

As a matter of principle GMB believes that all staff at South Marston site who are doing the same work should receive equal pay whoever they work for. We want an end to the two tier workforce.

GMB also demands that M&S investigates how staff can be disciplined for not being available for work, when the employer does not themselves respect the obligation to provide work for those employees.

End

Notes to editors.

M&S global sourcing: http://corporate.marksandspencer.com/documents/policy-documents/global-sourcing-principles.pdf
M&S Code of Ethics: http://corporate.marksandspencer.com/documents/policy-documents/2_code-of-ethics.pdf

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