‘Kick in the teeth’ for workers laid-off just four days after starting work with Barking and Dagenham Council

Workers who left jobs to take up council maintenance contracts in the hopes of later gaining a full-time position were told they were no longer needed after just four days.

Some of the workers, who had all been hired through recruitment agency Adecco, had left jobs elsewhere and had paid for new tools before beginning the three to six month contracts to refurbish empty council properties.

Many of them claim to have been offered the chance to earn a full-time position towards the end of their contracts, which began on Monday, July 8.

A 36-year-old plasterer from Dagenham, who wishes to remain anonymous, was among those laid—off and said he had been unemployed for close to a year.

He said: “We were promised a three to six month contract and a possible job at the end of it and they just came around on Thursday after we had started on the Monday and said ‘we don’t need you’ — they didn’t give us a reason.

“I had to buy extra tools. I used them for four days and now I’m unemployed.

“It’s just heartbreaking when you get told but I’m fuming now — you get a job offer in your borough and get kicked in the teeth.”

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A council spokesman said: “Local councillors have given a commitment to reduce the use of agency staff in favour of giving people more permanent employment opportunities and this is the route we are pursuing in this case as these roles are now being advertised.

“The council wants to ensure it recruits permanent staff who are offered proper terms and conditions and we can invest in training and development so they are able to offer our residents an excellent service.

“At no point would agency workers be told that permanent council jobs would be given to them automatically.”