Security personnel hired to provide security for quarantine hotels are threatened with eviction from their homes after months of unpaid wages.
Security staff, hired through a subcontractor G4S, helped manage travelers returning from Red List countries required to quarantine themselves for ten days at designated hotels near the airport. ‘Heathrow.
Struck by months of unpaid wages, some facing eviction, many have had to use their overdrafts, spend heavily on credit cards, or borrow from friends and family.
READ MORE: Claustrophobic teenager isolating himself in £ 175-a-night Heathrow hotel room so small he ‘can touch all 3 walls at once’
One staff member has not been paid since August and claims to owe £ 11,780. The father of three has now used up his credit cards.
Another faces homelessness after his landlord decides to evict him because of rent arrears.
A man with a newborn baby is the sole breadwinner in his family and also struggles to pay his rent.
It is estimated that hundreds of staff are affected.
The mandatory quarantine for people returning from high-risk countries was introduced by the government on February 15, 2021.
Hotels in areas surrounding key airports such as Heathrow have been requisitioned by the government, with staff hired to help provide services.
Contractor G4S was hired, who then contracted out to several smaller companies, including AKD, KK and Knightguard.
G4S blamed the suppliers for the late payments.
A spokesperson said: “In the case of some suppliers, delays in providing G4S with the required information mean that the invoice verification process has been delayed.”
Although providing a good number of hours and paying well at the start, as the number of vaccinated increased, the red list was slowly decreasing, with the last seven countries being removed on October 28. This means that there are fewer people staying in hotels and less need for staff.
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West Croydon resident Arfan Malik, 31, worked security at Radisson Blue Heathrow as a duty manager for a team of up to 200 guards.
He told MyLondon: “I haven’t had a salary since August. I am owed £ 11,780
“I worked seven days a week. They promised money but we didn’t know they wouldn’t pay.
“I’ve used all of my credit cards. I’m not talking about benefits. I’m borrowing.”
He added: “I have three children, a wife. We were begging for money.
“I didn’t work anywhere except there. Two-hour shifts seven days a week.
“Now all of my credit cards are at their max. If they don’t pay, it’ll be the same problem.”
The furious workers staged several protests, the most recent on November 15, outside the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs.
Faraz Haider Syed Zaidi, 21, estimates that he was not paid for 384 hours of work he did at the Holiday Inn by the M4, junction 4.
Faraz said: “It’s been hard, very hard, going into debt and dealing with credit cards. The rents are not being paid. The council tax has not been paid.”
About 100 angry employees gathered chanting slogans such as “G4S pays us”, “DHSC pays us” and “What do we want?” Our money! ‘
A woman in the crowd, who preferred to remain anonymous, risks being expelled for lack of salary.
She said: “No pay for three months. My landlord gave me notice to leave my house because I can’t pay. I’m earning for my family.”
She continued, “My sister and I will be homeless. I don’t know what to do. Honestly, I don’t know.
“I even had to borrow money to get here. I don’t know what I’m going to do. Honestly. I’m going to have to go to council. We don’t think we can survive.
Patel, 29, has an eight-month-old baby at home and is the sole breadwinner.
The father, who preferred not to disclose his full name, said: “We have savings but we nibble on them. We haven’t paid our rent. I have a child.
“It’s very difficult. Our races, I have to feed them. But medicine for my child.”
At the scene, police informed protesters that no one from DHSC would come out to speak to them.
Zonash Kiran, 32, a mother of four in Ealing, worked nights so she could be there during the day to take care of her children.
She said: “I am owed £ 4,500. I have not received any money for September and October.
It is so difficult. I worked at night so as not to disturb my children. If you work two months at night, you expect a reward.
“I’m so mentally stressed. It wasn’t easy.
“I have to send them to school. I’m not resting at all.
“I borrowed money. I use my credit card. I’m so sick of it. My mental stress is so high.
“I wish they would just say they don’t want to pay us. Then we can find out. But they keep saying they will pay, they will pay and we won’t get anything.”
A spokesperson for G4S told MyLondon: “It is our policy to pay all suppliers promptly.
“To do this, we need the suppliers to provide information so that we can verify their invoices and make the correct payment. In the case of some suppliers, delays in providing the required information to G4S mean that the invoice verification process has been delayed.
“We are working proactively with these suppliers to ensure that the invoicing and payment process can be completed as soon as possible. In the meantime, G4S has made substantial cash advances to a number of suppliers to help them meet their obligations to their employees. “
Are you owed wages for working in quarantine hotels? Please contact us at [email protected]