UK: Costa Coffee employees allege poor working conditions under franchise partner; Incl. co. comments

In August 2019,  the BBC reported that employees working at Costa Coffee stores, run by franchise partner Goldex Investment Essex Ltd, were alleging poor working conditions.

This included wage deductions for till discrepancies, training costs, and lateness, and unwritten contracts resulting in workers being underpaid.

Another report followed with more employee concerns, including managers' alleged refusal to pay for sickness or annual leave, employees working outside of contracted hours, and workers not receiving their tips. 

In response, Costa said it would be launching an independent audit into Goldex Investment Essex Ltd. 

Company comments can be found in the articles below.

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Article
29 August 2019

UK: Costa Coffee to investigate franchise partners after reports of poor working conditions

Author: Katherine Price, The Caterer

"Costa Coffee to launch independent audit into franchise partners", 23 August 2019

Costa Coffee is launching an independent audit of its franchise partners following an investigation by the BBC into alleged poor working conditions at franchised stores....

...Employees of Bristal Investments said they had been told to work outside of contracted hours and not received tips. Goldex Essex staff claimed the company had refused to pay for sick or annual leave, with one former manager telling the BBC that staff would be fined £150 if the store was opened late or deliveries missed with other financial penalties incurred if tills were found to be short or wastage deemed ‘excessive’.

 A Costa Coffee spokesperson, said: “...we are investigating these matters with those specific partners. Given the serious nature of the allegations, we have today informed all of our individual franchise partners that we will be launching an independent audit into the legal and ethical compliance of their operations, including employment matters..."

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Article
27 August 2019

UK: Costa Coffee employees allegedly 'not treated like human beings'

Author: Hanna Yusuf, BBC

"Costa Coffee franchise workers 'not treated like humans', 23 August 2019

The BBC has spoken to 26 employees of Costa Coffee franchise stores managed by Goldex Essex Investments Ltd and Bristal Investments Ltd.

Complaints include managers' alleged refusal to pay for sickness or annual leave, working outside of contracted hours and the retention of tips.

 A Costa Coffee spokeswoman said an independent audit has been launched. "...we have today informed all of our Individual Franchise Partners that we will be launching an independent audit into the legal and ethical compliance of their operations, including employment matters," she said on Thursday.

The latest allegations surfaced after the BBC reported that staff at Costa stores, managed by...Goldex Essex Investments Ltd, were being charged a minimum of £200 for their own training...

...[An]...employee...claimed that employees "were not treated like human beings" and complained of a "complete lack of empathy and consideration of our feelings"...

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Article
23 August 2019

UK: Costa Coffee employers found deducting worker wages to cover running costs and till discrepancies

Author: Hanna Yusuf, BBC

"Costa Coffee: Employees call £200 deductions for training 'unfair'", 19 August 2019

Costa Coffee employees...claim they have had costs of £200 deducted from their final payslip for training...The BBC spoke to...current and former Costa employees at stores in Essex who say they have also been subjected to other deductions for till discrepancies and running costs.

Costa said contracts for franchise stores are managed by partners. It added some staff contracts did have "clauses relating to deductions"...

...Other complaints about the Costa Coffee stores - run by Goldex Investments Essex Ltd - include allegations over contracts. Six people claim they were never given their written contracts...And two people said they were given "promotions" without contracts, claiming that they were carrying out managerial roles while being underpaid for the work they were doing...

...Costa Coffee said: "We take complaints such as these very seriously and have shared those we've been made aware of with our partner who operates the franchise business to investigate as a matter of urgency."...

Goldex Investments Essex Ltd said it took all the allegations "extremely seriously" and urged employees to outline the issues with their line manager...

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