North Beds NASUWT

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NASUWT condemns the continuing exploitation of supply teachers

Two thirds of supply teachers are being asked to sign agreements with offshore companies which allow supply agencies to avoid paying tax, a survey by the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, has found.

The survey, released today at the NASUWT’s Annual Conference in Cardiff, found that two thirds (66%) have been asked to sign a contract or agreement with an umbrella company or offshore organisation.

Some supply agencies use such arrangements as it allows them to avoid tax and National Insurance liabilities and engage in exploitative employment practices.

Teachers are also commonly being denied their entitlements on pay, pensions and working conditions, the results of the survey showed.

The NASUWT is calling for urgent action to close the loopholes which allow unscrupulous agencies and employers to exploit supply teachers.

The survey, which received over 1,000 responses, also found that:

  • nearly two thirds (63%) of supply teachers say they are not paid at a level that recognises their experience;
  • almost half (47%) of supply teachers believe they are used to cover the lessons of difficult pupils;
  • almost four in ten (38%) report there has been a decline in the work available since September 2010;
  • three quarters of teachers working for supply agencies do so because this is their only route to obtaining work;
  • nearly two thirds of teachers (63%) say they have not had access to training and professional development opportunities;
  • 89% say they are not given appropriate information to support them when they enter the school for the first time;
  • 41% of supply teachers say they do not always have access to food and drink facilities.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said

“Supply teachers are a vital resource for schools.

“The NASUWT has been campaigning consistently for action to tackle the agencies which are exploiting supply teachers by denying them the pay and working conditions to which they should be entitled.

“This survey shows that, despite the Chancellor belatedly agreeing to review the use of umbrella companies by some agencies to deprive workers of their rights and entitlements, supply teachers are still continuing to be exploited by the use of these contracts.

“A review will not resolve the exploitation and lacks the urgency which should be demonstrated when tax is being avoided and workers exploited.

“The NASUWT welcomes the Labour Party’s clear commitment to introduce regulation and licensing of agencies to ensure all workers are treated with dignity and receive their rights and entitlements.”

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This entry was posted on April 8, 2015 by in The NASUWT and tagged .

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