Hospital workers left ‘struggling to feed their families for weeks’

Loans have been offered to assist those in severe financial difficulty.

Sarah Jane
16 April 2019
Hospital cleaner theatre operation

Staff are resorting to loans in order to ‘keep a roof over their heads’.

ISS, a private global outsourcing giant who employs thousands of hospital cleaners, porters and catering staff at a number of prominent private sector employers and NHS hospitals, has left workers out of pocket after upgrades to its payroll system.

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The change will affect weekly waged workers employed by the company, who not get paid between Thursday, April 18 and May 9 – a gap of three weeks.

According to their website, ISS provides facility management services to over 300 organisations and employes over 14,500 staff.

Unions have criticised the change and claim it happened “without proper consultation”. ISS insist the change is necessary and say loans have been offered to those in severe financial difficulty.

‘Terrifying spiral of debt’.

Stacey Booth, GMB Organiser, said: “These brutal pay cycle changes are going to send some of the lowest paid people at the hospital into a terrifying spiral of debt.

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“The arrogance is breath-taking – our members, the people who keep these hospitals running – are offered an online ‘bridging loan’ so they can keep a roof over their heads and feed themselves. Before adding; “Meanwhile ISS showers millions on shareholders and directors. It’s nothing short of a disgrace and GMB will keep on fighting and we will ensure our members’ voices are heard. 

Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe, National Officer for Health at Unite the Union, said: “Without proper consultation, this multi-billion pound company is withholding the pay of hard-working cleaners and security guards. Many workers who live from pay cheque to pay cheque are struggling to make ends meet and will face genuine hardship as a result.”

‘Loan options are available’.

In a statement, ISS responded: “Currently we operate 15 different pay cycles, which is complex to manage. To prepare us for the transition to the new payroll system, from 9 May we are moving to just one fortnightly pay cycle and one monthly pay cycle.”

“A range of loan options are available to suit individual circumstances, with repayment options from eight weeks up to 30 weeks.

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“Local managers are having proactive one-to-one discussions with their employees to ensure that our people receive the financial and emotional support to meet their specific needs. ISS will not withhold any money that is payable to any employee.”

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