'I like to think my workers THRIVE in an intolerable working environment.'

It has come to the IWGB’s attention that new employees of Cordant and Nurture are being employed on statutory minimum terms and conditions.

We wrote to the Vice-Chancellor and received a reassurance that this was not the case, but having looked into the matter further it is clear that either the University is lying, or it is ignorant of what its own contractors are up to!

See below for Kim Frost’s reply to our original email, and Henry’s response…

If you are on, or know of anyone on, a contract at the University of London which only offers statutory minimum holidays and sick pay let Henry know immediately at henrychangolopez@iwgb.org.uk.

Dear Kim

Many thanks for your reply, and for your confirmation that the University is committed to maintaining the enhanced sick pay and annual leave allowances for outsourced staff.

I would like, however, to flag up three major issues with this.

Firstly, there is no need for an ‘appropriate qualifying period’ before new permanent staff ‘transfer’ to the enhanced allowances.

The Cofely contract which included the enhanced allowances makes provision for a qualifying period – it stipulates that staff qualify for more holidays / more sick leave depending on service.

This is the same as a University of London contract, and is normal practice. It does not make sense to say that staff will be issued with one contract when they commence employment, and then be given a new contract x months later – nor does this provide any guarantee to the employee that this second contract will in fact be supplied.

Secondly, as you will see from the attached contract, which has been issued to a permanent Cordant employee on the University of London contract, you will see that in practice NO MENTION is made of the enhanced allowances (indeed, the contract is of questionable legality full-stop, omitting as it does information relating to pay rates, holidays and sick leave; for these latter two, it simply refers employees to a ‘handbook’).

In other words, Cordant are employing staff on the University of London contract on statutory minimum terms and conditions.

Either the University is aware of this, in which case it is in breach of the commitments you express below, or it is not, in which case Cordant is in breach of its contract with the University.

Thirdly, you will doubtless be aware that Nurture have taken over the landscaping contract. Staff in this area were previously on Cofely contracts with enhanced sick pay and annual leave allowances, but new staff working for Nurture here at the University of London have also been issued with statutory minimum contracts.

This is clearly unacceptable, and unless within a week from today we are given a clear commitment that this situation will be investigated and rectified immediately, we will have no option but to publicise the fact that the University of London’s actions are drastically different from their public boasts.

Best wishes


Henry Chango Lopez



—– Original Message —–


“Kim Frost” <Kim.Frost@london.ac.uk>



henrychangolopez@iwgb.org.uk” <henrychangolopez@iwgb.org.uk>


“Vice Chancellor” <Vice-Chancellor@london.ac.uk>, “s.beaumont@nabarro.com” <s.beaumont@nabarro.com>, “emma.burns@rbs.com” <emma.burns@rbscom>, “Steven.Fogel@eu.kwm.com” <Steven.Fogel@eu.kwm.com>, “mark.storey@alcuincapital.com” <mark.storey@alcuincapital.com>, “jane.andrewartha@clydeco.com” <jane.andrewartha@clydeco.com>, “david.latchman@ucl.ac.uk” <david.latchman@ucl.ac.uk>, “master@bbk.ac.uk” <master@bbk.ac.uk>, “r.carter@bbk.ac.uk” <r.carter@bbk.ac.uk>, “principal@qmul.ac.uk” <principal@qmul.ac.uk>, “Paul.Layzell@rhul.ac.uk” <Paul.Layzell@rhul.ac.uk>, “principal@rvc.ac.uk” <principal@rvc.ac.uk>, “Kim Frost” <Kim.Frost@london.ac.uk>, “Chris.palmer@cordantservices.com” <Chris.palmer@cordantservices.com>, “lee.smith@cordantservices.com” <lee.smith@cordantservices.com>, “jasonmoyer-lee@iwgb.co.uk” <jasonmoyer-lee@iwgb.co.uk>, “agata.torres@cordantservices.com” <agata.torres@cordantservices.com>


Wed, 24 Aug 2016 13:39:22 +0000


Cordant – new contracts of employment
Dear Mr Lopez,


The Vice-Chancellor has asked me to reply to your email of 16 August.


All permanent staff working for Cordant on the University of London contract are entitled to the same enhanced sick pay and annual leave allowances as the existing staff who were recently transferred to them under TUPE from our former contractor.


I understand that all new permanent employees on the University of London contract will be offered employment on a standard Cordant contract and after the appropriate qualifying period will then be given the enhanced T&Cs, including enhanced sick pay and annual leave entitlement. This matches the practice under the previous Cofely contract.


Casual summer season cleaning staff employed for a fixed period have always under the previous Cofely contract been employed on statutory T&Cs and this will continue.


I hope this reassures you that the employment practices of our contractors have not changed and that the terms and conditions offered remain very competitive.


With best wishes


Kim Frost

Director of Human Resources

University of London

Stewart House

32 Russell Square



Tel: +44 (0)20 7862 8029    Web: www.london.ac.uk