research-report-96-coming-clean-contractual-and-procurement-practices.doc

Increased use of mobile teams with transport was

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Increased use of mobile teams with transport was implemented to reduce the number of fragmented short hour jobs within the council. Only the hotel used variable shifts determined on the day according to demand. The only example we came across where cleaners were able to leave early if finished without sacrificing pay were the bank retail cleaners, who were paid for two hours but could, in some cases, finish within one hour and a half. Towards better working time practices Among our case study organisations we can identify a range of problems with respect to working time. These include: the lack of any or significant premiums for unsocial hours working; the unwillingness to offer guaranteed hours for zero hours and TWA staff (all but CollegeS); the problems of too short shifts or lack of available hours, especially at: the bank, where the night/evening shift was cut from eight to four hours and the retail branch hours were limited to two; the council with its fragmented shifts at different buildings; the hotel, with an earlier finish time reducing the number of hours available; and the hospital, with problems of filling three hours for the early evening shifts; and changing schedules conflicting with other commitments (especially at the council and the hospital). We can also identify some efforts to ameliorate the problems. For example, in all cases but HotelW, the policy was to offer zero hours and TWA staff access to vacancies with guaranteed hours as they arose. This did not apply at the hotel, the case study that did least to accommodate problems and insecurities, as there were no guaranteed hours jobs for anyone as they had a national policy of putting all room attendants on zero hours. The justification for the use of zero hours was, on the one hand, the variable fee linked to room occupancy and, on the other hand, a notion that it was fairer for all to be on zero hours: We make it fair with everyone, I have always done that if I have to reduce the amount of hours and rooms they have to clean then I will do that for everyone. If we are talking about a day off, from two to three days off I will have to do that fairly with everyone. (CleanB, Area Contract manager). This notion of fairness was not shared by the cleaner interviewed: 96
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MAKING WORKING TIME AND SCHEDULES MORE SECURE I think it doesn’t give you any security. You know you have no security, you are on zero hours. .... It doesn’t give you any sense of security knowing they could say to you, ”well I’m cutting your hours in half”, so obviously your pay then is cutting in half. (CleanB, Cleaner). From the perspective of CleanB and the Procurement manager at the Headquarters for HotelW, they were doing more than was the norm in the industry by not paying on a piecework basis but ensuring that all were paid the national minimum wage for the hours actually worked.
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