Employing migrant workers


Case study: Barclays plc

Barclays plc - this will open in a new window

Barclays plc


Financial Services


Barclays PLC is a major global financial services provider primarily offering banking, investment banking and investment management services to millions of customers worldwide. Present in over 60 countries, Barclays employs 118,000 people worldwide of which 65,000 are employed in the UK.

Values and Approach to employment policy

Barclays always aims to attract, train and retain staff of the highest calibre. This applies whether staff are employed directly or indirectly through a contractor. Barclays is committed to working with its supply partners to ensure that employment packages for their staff are fair, equitable and transparent.


In Spring 2006 Barclays and its cleaning contractors - Mitie Cleaning & Support Services, Lancaster and Aim Hygiene, managed by Atkins Asset Management - rolled out a 'fair wage' package to the cleaners who work across Barclays 2000-strong UK branch network.

Business reason for employing migrant workers

The driver for this project was to ensure fair conditions for low paid subcontracted employees. Whilst not specifically directed at migrant workers, a high proportion of those employed within the cleaning industry in London are migrants. This project allowed the contractors to offer improved terms and conditions to all employees, beyond those normally associated with a lowest cost market opportunity.

Models and Process

As a reflection of its corporate values, and recognising the commercial sense of attracting high quality, well trained staff committed to cleaning its buildings well, Barclays worked with Atkins Asset Management in the development of the commercial tender process. This required bidders to provide a commercially viable proposition, demonstrating creative and effective ways to motivate and retain staff, paying attention to salary, hours of work, sick pay, holiday rights, pension rights and training.

With this steer, several cleaning contractors presented innovative and refreshing solutions. The successful bidders, Mitie Cleaning & Support Services, Lancaster and Aim Hygiene, agreed a new pay and benefits package, including a minimum pay threshold, pension contributions, sick pay, bonuses, an increased holiday entitlement and training to an industry recognised standard. The move directly involved over 2,400 cleaners.

All cleaners working in Barclays branches across the country now earn a guaranteed minimum of £6.05 per hour - £1 above current minimum wage. They will also receive a 15p per hour bonus each month dependant on the quality of their work and their attendance record.

Future Intentions

The values underlying the approach adopted for this contract are being applied to other similar contracts as they come up for renewal.

Food for thought

Head of Facilities Management at Barclays, Jon Couret:
'These are industry-leading changes that we believe will have an impact on the quality of life for all the cleaners working within our branch network and mean a better branch experience for our customers and staff.

Although our direct contract is with our contractors, who in turn directly employ and pay the cleaners, we recognise that ultimately it is ourselves who are responsible for improving their standard of living.'

Managing Director of Atkins Asset Management, Sean Haley:
'This is good news for the cleaners, Barclays and its customers. This fair wage programme will have a huge positive impact on thousands of lower paid workers across the UK.'


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