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'Services contract' pays £6 an hour

TRANSPORT union T&G is calling on HM Revenue & Customs to investigate a recruitment agency that pays labourers just £6 an hour under a 'contract of services'.

The contract, drawn up by Bournemouth ecruitment agency Peartree, depicts the labourer as 'a subcontractor in business on his own account as an independent concern with specialist skills and abilities'.

But the money on offer is less than the £7.01 minimum wage for general operatives under the Working Rule agreement.

Under the agreement the labourer sacrifices his right to sick pay, holiday pay or grievance procedures and is also charged £9.95 a week for payments to be processed by a third party.

The contract says: 'The contractor recognises that the subcontractor offers specialist skills at a high level of expertise, and as such cannot be told how to perform the contract works.'

T&G official Melvyn Moss said: 'This is an illusory, unworkable contract which we will be passing on to the Revenue to investigate.

'A labourer does not have specialist skills - he is given orders and he follows them. Any genuinely self-employed subcontractor would not be working for £6 an hour.

'We are extremely concerned about these kind of contracts, which are becoming increasingly prevalent in the industry. Anybody being asked to sign them should contact us.'

Peartree declined to comment.