Survey finds Big Brother attitude

Big Brother-style monitoring of
staff was the biggest complaint against call centre operators by employees
during the two-week operation of the TUC’s complaints hotline.

Fifty-three per cent
of the 733 call centre employees who used the hotline in February claimed they
were even monitored when they went to the toilet, according to Calls for Change.

Over 15 per cent said
they do not receive adequate breaks, which the TUC claims goes against the
Working Time Directive.

Calls for Change also
shows that 13 per cent think their health and safety is at risk. Nearly one in
10 complained about pay.

Mags Thomas, UK HR
manager at airline ticket call centre Qualiflyer, said, "Call handlers’
jobs are very challenging and good candidates are hard to find.

"The poor
practices of some operators not only cost them staff, but impacts on all call
centres by creating poor public relations for the industry."

One employee who used
the hotline said, "Although we usually come in early for no pay, if we are
even one minute late for work, we automatically lose 15 minutes’ money. But if
we are in the middle of a call at the end of our shift, we have to stay behind
without pay."

Andrew Ralston,
customer relationship director of Virgin Mobile, called for HRteams to invest
in policies to bring change. He said, "Call centre culture is driven by
productivity and sales, which can lead to a terribly unfriendly working

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