‘Draconian’ terms for fundraising staff

Pure Associates are based at New England House

Pure Associates are based at New England House

First published in News
Last updated
by , Business editor

CHARITY workers who raised millions of pounds for needy causes face wage cuts and “draconian” changes to their terms of conditions, according to staff.

Some 60 staff at charity fundraising company Pure Associates in Brighton face redundancy, while 100 could be put on zero hours contracts, an employee told The Argus.

A whistleblower, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “Many staff simply know they have no alternative but to leave.”

Pure, based at New England House, went into administration in August and was taken over by outsourcing business Parseq, which also took over rival Brighton firm Pell and Bale in 2013.

Parseq describes itself as “one of the world’s largest telephone fundraising companies” and said it had secured 200 jobs in Brighton across two sites.

But since the takeover 100 telephone fundraisers have received notices of changes to their terms of conditions, including zero hours contracts, loss of sick pay and hourly cuts, according to the member of staff.

More than 50 experienced staff who earn up to £10 per hour could be paid £6.57 per hour, it was claimed.

The whistleblower said performance-based pay could also be introduced, but that was denied by Parseq.

The staff member said: “Until now Pure was a highly-regarded fundraising agency and staff were paid to make calls and not by the outcome of the call.

“A period of consultation is now under way but that is being rushed through to implement these changes as soon as possible.”

Philip Silkstone, Unite regional officer, said: “Parseq has embarked on a campaign of terms-and-conditions-busting measures and refuses to even recognise its responsibilities under TUPE (transfer of undertakings) legislation, which protects employees following transfer.

“All our members have been advised to raise grievances regarding these regulation breaches and proposed draconian changes to their terms and conditions.

“This will allow us to represent them as presently we do not have a recognition agreement with either Pure or Parseq. If the company does not change its position, we will be exploring our members’ full legal position.

“It is clear that Parseq is preparing to increase its profits substantially at the detriment of the hard-working employees who collect money on behalf of various charities who I am sure would be shocked at their treatment.”

A spokeswoman for Parseq said Pure already employed zero hours contracts and staff would be paid “according to their experience and in line with local market rates”.

She said: “As part of the administration process we are legally obliged to TUPE people across on the same terms and conditions.

“It is a legal process which takes up to 45 working days.”

Comments (5)

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12:07pm Wed 3 Sep 14

billy goat-gruff says...

While I feel sorry for the workers, I'm increasingly annoyed at chuggers acosting me on the street, phoning me at all hours and even guilt tripping me on my own doorstep. I'm hestitant to give to charity when it means follow up phone calls asking for even more money!
While I feel sorry for the workers, I'm increasingly annoyed at chuggers acosting me on the street, phoning me at all hours and even guilt tripping me on my own doorstep. I'm hestitant to give to charity when it means follow up phone calls asking for even more money! billy goat-gruff
  • Score: 13

12:46pm Wed 3 Sep 14

fredaj says...

These fund raising companies are scum, often taking the most money from those who can least afford it and then badgering those same "soft touches" to increase the the amounts they donate.

They should be illegal.
These fund raising companies are scum, often taking the most money from those who can least afford it and then badgering those same "soft touches" to increase the the amounts they donate. They should be illegal. fredaj
  • Score: -3

12:47pm Wed 3 Sep 14

fredaj says...

fredaj wrote:
These fund raising companies are scum, often taking the most money from those who can least afford it and then badgering those same "soft touches" to increase the the amounts they donate.

They should be illegal.
If you want to donate to charity - do so directly!
[quote][p][bold]fredaj[/bold] wrote: These fund raising companies are scum, often taking the most money from those who can least afford it and then badgering those same "soft touches" to increase the the amounts they donate. They should be illegal.[/p][/quote]If you want to donate to charity - do so directly! fredaj
  • Score: 3

5:56pm Wed 3 Sep 14

NathanAdler says...

Perhaps they will get a proper job now??
Perhaps they will get a proper job now?? NathanAdler
  • Score: -13

10:21pm Wed 3 Sep 14

Fairfax Aches says...

Pure associates are not a charity pure associates are a profit orientated labour resource agency.
Pure associates are not a charity pure associates are a profit orientated labour resource agency. Fairfax Aches
  • Score: 4

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