Adverts for cleaning jobs posted by the council’s leisure centre provider paying well below the London Living Wage were placed in error.

The admission came after a cleaning assistant job at a leisure centre facility in Croydon was advertised for hourly rates of £7.50 to £10.20 when the LLW is £10.55.The Chronicle found the adverts after the issue of cleaning staff being paid properly was initially raised by Jeffrey Greaves who has been representing Thornton Heath and South Norwood leisures centre members. 

He had written to Cllr Oliver Lewis, cabinet member for culture and leisure,  and raised the issues of cleaning standards at the Thornton Heath centre on  social media.

He said: “As the THLC is a health and fitness facility, cleanliness should be treated as a priority with dedicated stand alone cleaning staff.”

It emerged that GLL,  the not-for-profit social enterprise which operates the borough’s leisure centres under the ‘Better’ brand, has dispensed with dedicated cleaners and those duties have been temporarily transferred to lifeguards and other Thornton Heath Leisure Centre staff.

Cllr Jamie Audsley, who has campaigned for the LLW to be paid by CPFC to all staff including those employed via an agency, insisted GLL paid the LLW in Croydon which is a requirement of its contract and that the adverts were as a result of a ‘suspected HR error’ .

The Chronicle had found two GLL adverts advertising part time cleaning assistant roles on the job and recruitment web site one was at Ashburton Hall in Addiscombe.

The adverts have been removed but GLL are still advertising the same rates of pay for part time cleaning assistant roles working at sports centres it runs in Kentish Town and Teddington.

On its web site GLL provides pay rates for the majority of jobs but not for the role of cleaning assistant at Ashburton Hall, where instead it says: “All pay rates are subject to skills, experience, qualifications and location.”

The cleaning standards at Thornton Heath Leisure Centre have come under scrutiny with Mr Greaves told that the disposal of the cleaners was based on financial considerations.

He said: “As GLL proudly claims to be a community centred enterprise, GLL should not be in the business of cutting pay rates to protect profits. Cleaning is a necessary expenditure/investment.”

The council awarded GLL, a 20 year contract to run its leisure facilities in March 2018.

A spokesperson for GLL said for the sake of clarity, the advert is ‘erroneous’ and ‘should not’ have been posted. 

Adding: “GLL is committed to narrowing the pay gap and paying a fair wage. In Croydon we not only pay The Living Wage Foundation’s rates (which are rising on 1 April to £10.55 per hour for over 18s) but in addition we add holiday pay so staff receive more than the London Living Wage.

“We are not employing new cleaners going forward in Croydon and Recreational Assistants shifts will include cleaning – as they do in many other leisure facilities we operate.

“While we are confident we can maintain standards for our customers, we value all customer feedback and centre management are keen to hear if any customer has a problem so we have an opportunity to put it right.”

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