Soho Staff and their holiday pay policy. Roxanne Peterson.

There used to be a company which went by the name of Soho Runners. As befits the name, it supplied runners to various facility companies in Soho.

This company became somewhat notorious for avoiding paying holiday pay to the Runners it employed by failing to pay their statutory entitlement as a matter of course, but by instead relying on freelancers to make a separate claim in order to secure it (and not taking any steps to remind them to do so).

Not only that, but they had a cut off date of the end of the year by which claims could be made so if you forgot about your legal right to the payment or simply omitted to claim it at the time, come the end of the year the company could keep all that lovely 10.77% for themselves.

Nice.

The individual who ran Soho Runners was Roxanne Peterson and she has now been recruited by the company set up in its place, Soho Staff. And it seems that bad habit has followed her to the new company as exactly the same policy has been adopted by Soho Staff for all the runners it now uses.

I asked Soho Staff whether they paid holiday pay after each booking of every Runner but they were somewhat coy in their response, refusing to explicitly say what they did. Fortunately there are enough Runners in the industry with their ear to the ground (and who are not happy with the way they have been treated by Soho Staff) to share details of their practices with me.

And this is what they reveal. When someone works for this company, in order to get paid they have to fill in a timesheet in order to get paid. Columns for Start Time, Lunchtime duration and End Time, all as expected. But wait – what’s this? – no column to claim your Holiday Pay, in fact no mention of it on the form at all!! The only way to get it it seems, is to manufacture a separate invoice and put that in. Fail to do that and bye bye holiday pay.

If anyone has worked for that particular company at any point during the last year do absolutely get an invoice in for the holiday pay they are making no effort to pay you. You earned it, you are owed it and there is absolutely no reason why you should not get it.

And if you’re a Runner in the industry, do of course join the Facebook Runners page, where all jobs are free to apply to, no-one makes any money out of you and every single employer pays holiday pay – and wants you to have it.