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UK: Parliamentary meeting calls for better working conditions for agency housekeepers at hotels

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30 January 2013

Hotel groups deny exploitation of housekeeping agency staff [UK]

Author: Janet Harmer, Caterer and Hotelkeeper [UK]

Several of the UK’s largest hotel companies [including Hilton Worldwide, the InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG), Travelodge and Premier Inn,] have dismissed suggestions that the sub-contracting of housekeeping services by agencies has led to the exploitation and abuse of staff in London hotels...made at a parliamentary reception...Curran [of Unite union] said that many hoteliers believed that because they were not employing the housekeepers directly they were not responsible for their welfare..."At any hotels where the outsourcing of housekeeping is undertaken, we conduct a thorough procurement review process and we require all suppliers to fully comply with all employment laws and regulations," a spokesperson [from Hilton Worldwide] said.

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25 January 2013

Calls for hotels to engage in dialogue to prevent exploitation of agency housekeepers [UK]

Author: Janet Harmer, Caterer and Hotelkeeper [UK]

The sub-contracting of housekeeping services by hotels to recruitment agencies has led to the exploitation and abuse of staff, a parliamentary reception has been told...Kevin Curran of the hotel workers branch of the Unite union said that in some hotels...workers...are, in effect, working for less than the minimum wage..."[A typical worker] ends up suffering from ill health, with back and shoulder problems as a result of the physical work involved and also mental health issues because she is unable to spend any time with her children," [he says]...[Staff Wanted Initiative] has produced a simple set of guidelines for hotels to help them identify and deal with any issues of exploitation by the agencies...[A]ll the major hotel companies had been invited to attend the meeting, but they all declined, except for Whitbread, the operator of budget brand Premier Inn.

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