Young people under 18 are required to work longer shifts and have less breaks than the Working Time Regulations state, says GMB Northern Region.
GMB, the union for workers at Parseq call centre on Doxford Park, is calling on Sunderland Council and the Health and Safety Executive and Acas to conduct an audit into the application of the working time regulations.
This call arises from concerns expressed to the union over the adherence by the company to the requirements of the Working Time Regulations (WTR) on the issues of breaks and limits to working hours.
The Working Time Regulations govern the hours employees can work and limit them to an average week of 48 hours; paid annual leave of 5.6 weeks a year; 11 consecutive hours rest in any 24 hour period; a 20 minute break if the working day is more than 6 hours; one day off each week; and a limit on working hours of night workers to an average of 8 hours in any 24 hour period.
There are special Regulations for young workers which limit their working hours to 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week.
They are entitled to 2 days off each week and a 30 minute rest break if they are working for more than 4.5 hours.
Sunderland Council is the responsible organisation for the enforcement of the maximum weekly working time limit at Parseq's call centre at Doxford Park.
GMB has written to Parseq to request a meeting to discuss a number of concerns which include these issues however to date the company has declined our offer.
Chris Preston, GMB Regional Organiser said:
“GMB members at Parseq have complained to the union that young people under 18 are required to work longer shifts and have fewer breaks than the Working Time Regulations state.
“Other people aged over 18, who have not ‘opted out’ of the regulations, end up working well above the 48 hour week, averaged out over 17 weeks.
“These concerns by GMB members should be investigated immediately and GMB calls on Sunderland Council, the Health and Safety Executive and Acas to conduct a Working Time Directive audit to check that the law is being adhered to and not being abused.
"GMB will cooperate fully with an audit.
“Certain jobs Parseq does for clients have forced overtime and on 3 days a week, Parseq requires every person on that contract to work an extra hour.
"This is not asked, it is just assumed and everyone must do it.
"Anyone who doesn't do the overtime is required to work a later shift on a Friday as punishment.
"This is exactly the sort of treatment that has forced GMB members to have to operate in secret inside Parseq like some sort of North East Underground Resistance.
"GMB's written request for a meeting with Parseq to discuss these and other concerns has been declined but our offer to meet remains open.”
Contact: Chris Preston, GMB regional officer, on 07870 176731 or GMB press office on 07958 156846 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors:
 GMB Press release 3 May 2017
Conditions at Parseq are so unpleasant union members have to operate in secret like some sort of North East Underground Resistance.
Read more: www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/GMB-targets-parseq
 List of Parseq clients:
|Financial Services||Public Sector||Other|
|Bank of America||Adur & Worthing councils||36 Bedford Row|
|Bank of Ireland||Barnet Council||2 sisters Food Group|
|Barclaycard||Brighton & Hove City Council||5 Essex Court|
|Barclays||Buckinghamshire County Council||Advanced Business Solutions|
|Clydesdale Bank||Edinburgh City Council||Amnesty International|
|Collectica Enforcement Services||Green Party||Apcoa Parking|
|Coutts||Kingston upon Thames Council||Beacon|
|Deutsche Bank||Lambeth Council||Belron|
|FirstData||Lewisham Council||Bottomline Technologies|
|Hastings Direct||Reading Borough Council||BP|
|HSBC||Somerset County Council||Coins|
|nectar||Southwark Council||Cool Milk|
|Sainsbury's||Tower Hamlets Council||CSE Healthcare Systems|
|Toyota Financial Services||BT||Furnival Chambers|
|Worldline e-payment services||EE||Lowell Group|
|Worldpay||Virgin Media||Matrix Chambers|
|Utilities||nsl services group|
|Society of London Theatre|
|South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive|
|The Caravan Club|
|World Cancer Research Fund|