Are the security operatives working at your venue being paid?
The SIA recently reported a news story about a security boss found guilty of defrauding the security operatives he employed. The SIA licenced guards operated in a number of locations and were not paid for their work. In this case the employer used various aliases and set up several businesses which were run from his home between 2012 and 2016. He was investigated following a number of complaints that were made about his failure to pay security operatives.
Unfortunately this story is not a one off. Recently there have been reports by security operatives, particularly in the events sector, providing services and not being paid for their work. The companies in question then close the business leaving the staff out of pocket. The professional security industry is a large one and there are many small businesses; a lot of which are investigated by the SIA, but some who at least for a number of years manage to escape justice while defrauding their staff.
It can be difficult for security buyers to know which companies to use; when you have a tight budget a cheap quote for security can seem like a simple solution. However the statement “you get what you pay for” is often true. Companies offering very low quotes are likely to be using unlicensed or untrained operatives, or both. And when you take into account that the national minimum wage in the UK is currently £8.21 for those 25 and over, and the living wage is £9 for those outside London and £10.55 in London, …. just how realistic is that cheap quote you’ve been sent?
Security buyers can take some responsibly for the security operatives who work at their events or venues by looking for more than just the lowest quote, and maybe including a clause in their contracts requiring the security company to provide proof that the guards have been paid before they pay their final invoice? This is just a thought, but if these practices can be pushed out of the security industry it will lead to better trained operatives able and happy to provide a higher quality of service.