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Tuesday, September 06, 2016

"1960s-style employment practices" accusation levelled at company set up by Labour-run council

The BBC report that a company owned by Labour-controlled Rhondda Cynon Taf council has been criticised by a union which has accused it of using "1960s-style employment practices".

They say that the GMB union said agency staff at Amgen Cymru, an arm's-length waste management company, were sent home at short notice without a full day's pay. It added that the agency, Smart Solutions Ltd, paid employees via a third party:

Amgen Cymru's waste and recycling plant at Bryn Pica, near Aberdare, provides services for Rhondda Cynon Taf council and other authorities.

It operates as a separate legal entity to the council, but does have two council employees as its board of directors.

BBC Wales has seen payslips showing that some workers were not paid by Smart Solutions Ltd, but by another company until recently.

The GMB union said some workers were confused about who they were working for and claimed some were told they would have to pay for a paper payslip, and any replacement personal protection equipment.

Gareth Morgans, regional organiser for the GMB, claimed some workers were paid around £7,000 per year, before expenses were added to "make up" their pay, meaning the employer was not liable for national insurance contributions.

"The implications to the individual as I see it is that this could affect their pension in years to come if no national insurance contributions are being paid for the employee," he said.

"Amgen is an arm's-length company with directors from Rhondda Cynon Taf on the board... RCT introduced an ethical procurement policy earlier this year.

"I'm hearing of employees turning up for work in this organisation, working for an hour and then being tapped on the shoulder and sent home with no pay...that's 1960s-type employment practices - it shouldn't happen in the 21st Century."

Smart Solutions Ltd said it had changed the way it paid staff, but it had always complied with statutory requirements.
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