Union calls for Living Wage Foundation to end Goodlord accreditation

Unite continues to lobby on behalf of its members facing wage cuts at Goodlord by calling on the Living Wage Foundation to end its accreditation of the London-based lettings software provider.

Around 20 Unite members employed in Goodlord’s London-based referencing department, which provides tenant checks for estate agents, had been on discontinuous strike since 22 February.

But this week the workers escalated their industrial action to an indefinite strike, meaning they will not return to work until the dispute is resolved.

The disgruntled employees say that that they are subject to ‘fire and rehire’ plans – a claim that Goodlord firmly deny.

Goodlord’s referencing staff say that their pay would drop from £24,000 to £18,000, which is less than the London living wage of £21,157, while their maternity, holiday and sick pay would also be cut.

However, Goodlord is adamant that it is now only required to pay the UK real living wage, despite the fact that the workers live in the capital.

Unite regional officer Steve O’Donnell claims that this dispute has already caused disruption to Goodlord’s clients, which includes a number of high-profile estate agents. But Goodlord denies that this is the case and insists that any suggestion that services have been disrupted are without grounds.

O’Donnell said: “Indefinite strike action means service interruptions will now continue every day until this dispute is settled.

“Goodlord’s appalling attempts to use Covid as a cover to slash the wages and terms and conditions of its lowest paid staff is doing immeasurable damage to its reputation.

“Unite has contacted the Living Wage Foundation to ask that Goodlord be removed from its website as an accredited employer, as these brutal cuts mean it no longer qualifies.

“Unite urges Goodlord to table an offer that our members can accept. Until that happens, strikes will continue indefinitely and Goodlord’s services and reputation will continue to suffer.”

A spokesperson for Goodlord responded: “We’re proud to be a progressive employer and, in 2020, we were accredited by the Living Wage Foundation in recognition of our long-standing and industry-leading commitment to paying the UK real Living Wage or above to all our employees. This is a pledge we take very seriously and one we remain committed to.

“We cannot stress strongly enough that this is not a “fire and rehire” plan. Instead, a number of temporary staff were offered the chance to take up permanent roles with us. As a result, we have created a large number of permanent roles which come with all the benefits and security of full-time employment, including the UK real Living Wage. Our colleagues in the Referencing department are based all over the UK and our pay structures, bonuses, and benefits for full-time staff are some of the best in the market.

“We’re disappointed that a small number of colleagues are continuing their industrial action despite our ongoing commitment to resolving this through dialogue. However, this action has had zero impact on service levels during this time, with the vast majority of our team working as normal to deliver an exceptional service to our customers.”

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11 Comments

  1. JonnyBanana43

    What exactly is a “progressive” company..?
    Sounds like a phrase to please the unions!

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    1. JordanBrooks88

      One that progressively burns more and more cash before it folds without ever making a profit?

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      1. PossessionFriendUK39

        Like  so-called  Not-for-profit  ‘Social Housing’  All managers on 6 figure salaries,  but no ‘profit’  declared  !!!

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  2. 21Yearsinthegame

      Referencing staff based all over the UK, incredible, this must be a huge security risk. It is one thing managing through the Covid crisis and making short term arrangements to protect peoples lives. It is another thing altogether to have people who process highly confidential information based all over the place on a permanent basis. Confirmation that this firm don’t really know what they are doing, they treat their own people and customers with arrogance.  

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    1. KByfield04

      Not sure I’d agree that WFH represents a huge security risk- tech can easily be engineered to offset many risks- and I don’t see that an unscrupulous employee (at any company) would find it any harder to extract/misuse data from an office PC than on a home accessed network. Companies and organisations handling much more sensitive data than an applicant searching have been undertaking their work for years remotely. Make no mistake, WFH will be the default position for many companies going forwards- especially tech & creative businesses.

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  3. CharlieLondon01

    Sad to see – London and surrounding areas are an incredibly expensive place to live. The amount of money being discuss is tiny, if all the hype Goodlord gives about its growth is true.

    They have put themselves in a position were they cannot back down, come on Goodlord, do the right thing. Pay your referencing staff, properly, they are the ones validating our potential tenants. Or spread the cost savings across your sales staff and senior management.

    Ask them to take a small pay cut each, and win more business, to cover the gap. It cannot be that difficult, that’s how businesses grow..

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  4. SymphonyOfGreen

    How can any of their staff feel valued with slashes like this? When you live and work in London, can anybody actually be motivated to work on p!$$-poor salaries like this?

    Goodlord is meant to be one of the good suppliers and I don’t know how some of it’s core directors – William Reeve, Thomas Mundy and even Peter Knight have remained so quiet on this.

    How about the directors take a pay cut and pay it back to the people on the ground.

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  5. Robert_May

    there  is a bonkersness about having a  property sector service  supply company based in London.

     

    Peterborough where Landlord hub is based  is a much cheaper place to  own, live and work than London yet it is exactly the same  commuting time from King’s Cross as someone travelling in from Uxbridge.

     

    Giving a firm a commercial disadvantage is something to be factored into any business; if the net result is the staff can’t afford to live or eat on the wages paid that has to be something to considered

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    1. KByfield04

      There are a multitude of supplier and tech businesses operating outside the capital. Our business model from day dot for The Depositary was to always have a remote workforce- something that was hard to explain in our early business and strategic partner meetings. There can be a lot of value in having a London HQ, especially when it comes to the perception of a business and (therefore) its access to funding if it needs it- but this can easily be facilitated through a co-working network or by securing a far smaller space to facilitate training, key client meetings and some staff interaction- but reducing the footprint (and therefore costs) by 50-80% leaving the business to reinvest it, pocket it as profit or pass those savings on to staff in terms of salary and perks.

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      1. Pm12334

        Mate, no one cares about your business. Stop using Goodlords exploitative actions to promote yourself. You’re obsessed.

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  6. paulgbar666

    You can be a feckless welfare scrounger in London on £23000 net income.

     

    Why bother even working!?

     

    Work just 16hrs pw as a Big Issue seller and have unlimited welfare.

    Why do you think there are so many welfare scroungers!?

     

    They are in the upper 25% of income earners.

     

    To make it worthwhile not being a welfare scrounger a net wage of £46000 would be needed.

    Welfare provides for a rather nice feckless lifestyle.

     

    London is a busted flush.

    It is feckless for companies to be based there.

    There is no need.

     

    Having a London address just proves how feckless and wasteful a company is.

     

    Move outside of the M25 and save fortunes.

    Unless you are a bank you don’t need to have a London address.

     

    Quite frankly there is little need for a London address.

     

    WFH will be the new overwhelming paradigm due to making financial sense.

     

    There will be a massive movement of workers to outside London.

     

    London is finished as an employment hotspot.

    It simply isn’t needed anymore.

    WFH is the new way and nothing can change it.

    Welcome to the new world.

     

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