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The Uber-isation of Manned Guarding

A recent request for manned guarding was received by, the hours being 16:30 to 07:30 Monday to Thursday and 15:30 Friday to 07:30 Monday.

The potential customer wanted a professional highly motivated and skilled operative who would not sleep on duty. The customer had never worked a single 15-hour shift let along consecutive ones but believed that the hours were not a problem for a professional person and company.

We decided that a single shift was too long and therefore unacceptable in the current climate and therefore proposed 2 x 7 ½ hour shifts to compensate.

The resulting costs meant that we were considered to be too expensive even though we went in at a margin that in years gone by would be considered suicidal.

The successful contactor has agreed to the shift lengths and their charge ….. £8.25 per hour.

It’s easy to pass this off as a one off, but this does not make it right.

The fact that this incident is not a one off but a systematic abuse of the system whereby companies use self-employed staff to undercut properly constituted and managed companies is questionable.

Perhaps there are those out there who believe that the Uber-isation of our industry is a natural progression and the use of self-employed staff is a positive development giving individuals the freedom and flexibility to manage their work/life balance.

For my part I’m deeply troubled by this and see exploitation, dumbing down and the lowering of standards.

Am I alone with my beliefs or am I behind the times and need to catch up?