It’s Official: Health Trust Europe have finally accepted defeat and are no longer mandating that agency workers must be employed by FCSA or Professional Passport and it is investigating its potential for any ongoing relationship with both organisations as well as APSCo!!!
The success of the savenhsworkers.org Campaign has been reported to us by dozens of our supporters following a recent Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) conference in London, many of whom attended as delegates. Gary Snart of HTE notoriety was due to attend as a keynote speaker, but he was disappointingly notable by his implausible absence. This was much to the vocal annoyance of our attending supporters who intended to give him a public cross examination of his and Health Trust Europe’s conduct.
Thankfully a REC representative stepped up to the plate to publicly confirm Mr Snart’s failure to attend and the U-turn of Health Trust Europe.
The Consequences of Victory: Agency workers have now finally been accepted by Health Trust Europe as worthy of being factored in when making enormous policy decisions and will no longer be imposing illegal business practices upon recruitment agencies to force workers to resign from their current umbrella employers and lose their hard earned employment rights and benefits.
Apology Required, Please: Even though success after a long campaign is an outstanding outcome for tens of thousands of agency workers, Health Trust Europe should be noble in defeat and have the courage to publicly and unreservedly apologise to the workers that have already been forced to resign. The consequences of resigning has hit many of the workers very hard in ways such as the loss of maternity, paternity and adoption rights and pay and also the rejection of mortgage and finance applications made at the start of new employment with an umbrella employer that was forced upon them.
Will the recently appointed new Chief Operating Office of Health Trust Europe, Dale Robinson, demonstrate his commitment to ethical business practices and make a public apology? This is an open invitation for him to do so…over to you, Mr Robinson!
Current Campaign Investigations: To add to our series of exposés, the Campaign intends to publish numerous new ones regarding what it has unearthed but, to provide a preview, we have decided to release some of the details in advance as they all MUST form part of any investigations and due diligence when considering any future dealing with Health Trust Europe, the FCSA and any organisation connected to them.
Health Trust Europe and Neuven Agency Auditors: Sadly, the Gary Snart involvement again comes up with Neuven. Neuven audits agencies to determine whether they can continue with a framework. The influence Mr Snart has in this arrangement really does put the success or failure of an agency’s future frameworks business in the balance. The moral is...don’t upset Gary!
How many other Skeletons? And other scandals involving Health Trust Europe and its business partners will be discovered? Well, continue following the Campaign to find out as it believes that it has only exposed the tip of an iceberg so far. However, a root and branch investigation into all of them and any others MUST surely be a priority for Dale Robinson, noting his background in law and ethics…Another call to action, Mr Robinson!
With HTE IN Retreat, It’s Time for the FCSA to Come Clean! The sheer amount of incriminating information that has been passed over to the Campaign in the course of our efforts is astonishing! Even with a resounding victory under our belt, the Campaign believes that the investigations that will undoubtedly result from its validation MUST include in-depth scrutiny of what it considers to be the widespread unscrupulous business practices and wrongdoings of Health Trust Europe and its many business ‘partners’.
Although the focus of the Campaign was always about protecting the employment rights of NHS agency workers, its numerous supporters have contributed a wealth of facts and information that have led us to investigate many shocking truths about the way business is conducted in the agency worker sector, all of which are inevitably at the financial expense of unsuspecting workers. Lest we overlook, however, the lesser known fact that our cherished NHS has also become a casualty of big business greed and manipulation.
FCSA Members, Tyson Fury and Las Vegas: We understand and accept that giving and receiving corporate hospitality can be good for business and, of course, enjoyable. But surely Brookson’s taking a group of its top introducers of business for an all-expenses paid jolly to watch the Fury vs Wilder fight, with a post-fight photo opportunity personal appearance of Fury at the Brookson table for a fee to him of £15,000, delivers a knockout punch to the legal concept of “reasonable hospitality”!
Who ultimately paid the bill for this? Obviously, the agency workers! What did Brookson’s expect in return? Obviously, lots of new business. Is such extravagant hospitality a bribe, making it illegal? We are sure most rational, honest thinking folk will say “yes”.
FCSA Members, Their Backhanders and Their Pre-paid Cards: As if we weren’t already being treated as voiceless workers by the recruitment industry, hard-working NHS workers have now become nothing more than a commodity for recruiters to get rich from! We accept that the giving and receiving of commissions can sometimes be a legitimate part of business, but such things have to be dealt with properly to avoid being turned into bribes and equally illegal secret commissions. Most agencies don’t even entertain such practices but all too many do!
So, why do FCSA members charge so much per timesheet? Because around £10 of it is paid as a commission. Is this commission openly declared to agency workers to avoid it being an illegal secret commission? The Campaign knows that it is not! After all, why would a worker agree to give an extra £10 per week to an umbrella just so it can pay a commission or pay for all expenses paid trips to Las Vegas? The answer…they would not! The legal consequence…the secret commissions should now be paid to the workers!
Why do Brookson One and Giant use pre-paid cards to pay commissions? The obvious answer is that they avoid the need of the card holder receiving the commission to declare them as an income to be taxed. Is this tax avoidance or evasion and are these companies facilitating one or both? We suspect that HMRC will be very interested in these arrangements.
FCSA and REC…Too Close for Comfort: Conflicts of interests will inevitably arise with fingers in too many pies! Surely influential business owners, their family members and close associates involved in one aspect of the agency worker sector should not be involved in another from which they profit and then also sit on influential boards and committees of the NHS, REC and other stakeholders.
REC, APSCo and any other purportedly independent organisation that professes to accredit, validate or regulate any aspect of the worker supply chain MUST take an inward look at its structure and practices and ask, are we acting in the best interests of workers, employers and members?
Are conflicts of interest declared? The Campaign suspects not. Is it only the Campaign that considers it too much of a coincidence that both the FCSA and REC trade from the same office in central London? Surely not!
Declaring conflicts of interest is a fundamental principle of proper corporate governance to demonstrate, amongst other things, ethical business practices. Falling to do so can only lead to one conclusion…underhand dealings!
FCSA Harbouring the Very Umbrellas they are Supposed to Be Working Against? The view of the Campaign is that there is no robust or fit-for-purpose umbrella accreditation in the UK. We are building an ever-growing list of umbrella companies accredited by either FCSA or Professional Passport that actively provide schemes such as loans to pay agency workers so that they can take home around 90% plus of their salary, which both accreditations (allegedly) absolutely do not permit.
How can this be allowed to happen? Isn’t this what Health Trust Europe have been clumsily been trying to stop? The answer is either the proverbial blind eye or that the FCSA and Professional Passport do not undertake truly independent and thorough audits. The FCSA in its own Best Practice Code of Compliance openly admits that it does not thoroughly audit by stating: -
For the avoidance of doubt, the FCSA (and its assessors) review does not constitute any form of independent audit of the business in question and should not be held out to be, or be taken, as such. The review cannot, in itself, guarantee current, past or future compliance with relevant legislation, regulations and appropriate industry practices and neither should it be taken to mean that HMRC or any other professional or regulatory body will not enquire into any matter that is subject to the requirements of the FCSA Code of Compliance…How can the FCSA promote itself as the paragon of compliance when its standards are set so very, very low?
In Conclusion: Surely the time has come for organisations that control tens of billions of pounds per year of the UK economy, the lives of hundreds of thousands of agency workers and the quality of care provided in the nation’s health care service MUST be held accountable at the highest level.
Finally and by no means least, we at the Campaign have to say a huge and loving thank you to all our loyal supporters and contributors, without which it would not have been possible to achieve VICTORY, a victory that we are confident is just the first of many!