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Working with NL recruitment March 22, 2010

Posted by callcentreworker in charity calls, trade union.
Tags: ,

NL Recruitment is an agency that specialises in recruiting staff for many employers in the Call-Centre industry such as Sky and Morgan Stanley. NL advertises positions for workers in Customer Services, Fundraising, Tele-Marketing in London, Surrey and the North East.

Pell and Bales is one of NL Recruitment’s major clients in London.

Feedback from callers with NL is mixed.

One new caller said of NL that “they are very friendly and always happy to help with any problem you may have”.

Another caller was unable to attend the final training and NL was able to reschedule this with P&B.

However, there have been some problems with NL.

  • NL gave some new callers the impression that they had got a job with Pell and Bales when they were confirmed for training. It was only when arriving at Pell and Bales that they discovered that they would have to pass training.
  • Many callers are confused by the pay and holiday structure and would like a document that explained this in more detail
  • A separate company ISS provides the payroll service for NL. They are based in Guernsey and therefore have no UK tax liabilities. ISS does however tax callers employed by NL. NL callers, not NL, have 4% of their wages (the lowest in Pell and Bales) deducted for this “service”. That is why it is important that NL callers ensure that they claim their holiday entitlement and retain train and bus tickets, as travel costs can be claimed back. It is possible to claw back more than the 4% lost this way.

The issue of Pell and Bales using an agency who in turn uses an offshore payroll company that charges low-paid callers was raised by the CWU at a Staff Reps meeting a few years ago. Initially management told us that if they established that an agency they used charged callers for the payroll service they would end the contract with that agency. Once they had spoken to NL, at the following Staff Reps meeting they said that NL callers could be potentially better off. NL Recruitment became the sole agency for recruiting callers when Pell and Bales in-house recruitment team was disbanded in April 2009.

Our position is that if ISS are not paying UK tax, they can afford to waive the fee charged to NL callers and pay the lowest-paid callers a decent rate, decent holiday entitlement and re-imburse travel costs.

The CWU continues to campaign for all agency callers to be paid at least the London Living Wage, as recommended by the Mayor of London’s office of £7.60 per hour

If you are an agency worker at Pell and Bales and need some advice– let us know.



1. call centre india - March 23, 2010

thanks for giving me about detail nl recruitment agency which is consultancy of call centre of london i will be remember about your company profile when i am try in call centre line i will be try for this call centre job thanking for providing good information about the company

2. Aydy - June 12, 2011

I recently registered with NL recruitment who did indeed give me the impression I had been successful in getting a job with Pell and Bales (after an interview selection process at the Pell & Bales office in Old Street).

It was then during training that all of the new starters in the group were told we were still being assessed. Every day a number of the group disappeared. The numbers dwindled day after day. It turns out Pell and Bales were getting rid of staff like used tissues they’d blown their nose on. It seems they are less than willing to invest in people and give them adequate time to get to their high standards. When I say high standards – I mean targets.

The fact that my new colleagues were disappearing like something out of a horror film was very demoralising, keeping me constantly on edge. I wanted more security – even if the role was with an agency.

The job itself I felt was soul-destroying. Calling up existing and non-existing charity supporters (not customers; you’d lose your job for referring to them as customers) asking for more money. Morally questionable or a necessary means of raising money for charity. The charities don’t see every penny of the money donated – some has to cover P&B’s costs – but the charities don’t mind this as they still see a high percentage of the donations. The role felt very much like a sales role and if you don’t mind calling supporters begging for money then fine.

Your pay for attending training is only paid when you have worked a certain number of hours – somewhere around 50 hrs. This money is yours – they should not be allowed to withhold this – but they do. If you leave or are let go by P&B before working this amount of hours (within 2 months) then you lose the money you are morally entitled to. When I queried this I was told quite bluntly that this is clearly outlined in NL recruitment’s terms. So what? It’s still wrong.

The above information regarding the third party company in charge of providing you with your payslips is true. They do charge. I’ve never known any company or agency to charge a percentage for providing a payslip. I’m not even sure this is legal but it definitely isn’t right.

The hours at P&B are very flexible – but you are treated like drones. You wait in the canteen until a campaign manager appears and shouts ‘right everyone get logged in and start calling’. There really isn’t much contact between management & callers after that.

Most unpleasant job I’ve ever had – and I’ve worked in a few call centres & dealt with numerous agencies. I wont be using NL again.

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