Category: News

Meet the Buyer Event hosted by Supply Change

On Thursday 23rd September 2021, Supply Change hosted the Social Procurement in Construction Guide Launch and Meet the Buyer online virtual event.

This event presented a unique opportunity for Tarem Services Limited to connect with other businesses and discuss practical social procurement.

As one of the leading social enterprises, Tarem Services Business Development Director, Torquil Allen highlighted the importance of commitment to engaging local community investment companies, charities, and social enterprises, and it forming part of a large Tier 1 contractual agreement.

The event included the opportunity to pitch and network, creating new business prospects. Overall, the event was very well received with a constructive debate on how to use procurement as a force for positive change.

Tarem RISQS Accreditation

We’re thrilled to announce that Tarem Services Limited has recently been audited and awarded the RISQS Accreditation.

RISQS “Rail Industry Supplier Qualification Scheme” is a supplier qualification for the rail industry that pre-qualifies suppliers to be formally recognised as capable providers of products and services.

This enables Tarem to upskill staff members, which will enhance their skills, allowing them to grow and develop their career path. Also offering greater opportunities to supply labour into the rail industry and meet clients’ needs more efficiently.

Torquil Allen, Business Development Director said: “This is a fantastic achievement as it opens up a new market for us to compete in and have a greater social impact”.

About Tarem Services Ltd

Serving London for over 20 years, Tarem Services Ltd is a social enterprise company with a difference. Where experience has shown us that cleaning is one of the lowest paid jobs in the UK and one of the most important. Most cleaners have to juggle 3 to 4 jobs per night, on contracts paying only the ‘living wage’. For this reason, in 2006 we made it our goal to focus on tackling in-work poverty by ensuring that the cleaners working for us are recognised for the important and essential work that they do.

We achieve this by enabling them to share in the success of the business along with becoming an employee shareholder. Not only do our employees receive annual dividends from the profits made by the company, but they also receive a monthly profit share produced by the individual contract they are working on. This unprecedented move has transformed the lives of our staff that has resulted in exceptionally low staff turnover. And the workforce putting in the maximum effort that enables each contract to be finished to a very high standard.

We also get involved in a variety of other social and environmental causes such as assisting our clients in reducing their waste and offsetting our own carbon emissions produced whilst servicing contracts.

Brent Cross Regeneration Project

Tarem Services Ltd – Brent Cross Regeneration Project

We’re pleased to announce that Tarem Services Ltd is working with VolkerFitzpatrick Limited, one of the leading engineering and construction companies in the UK and Galldris Group, a major Civil engineering company, supplying Pest control and Labour supply services as part of Brent Cross regeneration project.  

With Brent Cross being one of the biggest regeneration projects in Europe, the ambition and scope of this project is yet to transform the North London area into a new Town Centre. 

This will no doubt, present a real opportunity for Tarem Services, a Social Enterprise company to play an important role by delivering social value and impact in this area. While also building a strong, trusting long-term relationship with  VolkerFitzpartick Limited and Galldris Group that will contribute to successful future project delivery.  

Business in the News

Transforming the cleaning industry

The social enterprise transforming the cleaning industry and taking on the gig-economy

Last week the UK Supreme Court made a landmark judgement ruling that drivers working for cab hailing app, Uber, should be entitled to basic workers rights. The ruling highlighted what’s been a defining feature of the post-financial crash economy – insecure, low-paid work. Whilst the economy did see employment go up, alongside the growth in permanent jobs there was also a rapid rise in the numbers of self-employed, temporary work and zero-hour contracts where employers have no obligation to provide a minimum number of working hours.

The so called ‘gig’ or ‘platform’ economy is now a regular feature of our lives, operating far beyond the well-known examples of businesses like Uber and the Deliveroo. The fragmentating of the workforce alongside the corresponding exploitation and insecurity this entails has become a common feature across sectors from social care to retail. Many of the key-workers who have kept the country going through the pandemic have been in some form of insecure work.

One sector where job insecurity is common is in the cleaning industry. Cleaners are a vital backbone of the economy doing an incredibly important job, but the cleaning industry is characterised by low-pay, exploitation and extreme precarity. A report published last month by Focus on Labour Exploitation (FLEX) based on in-depth interviews with cleaners found that 61% of participants experienced severe issues with pay including not being paid for all hours worked, not being paid at all, or being paid below the government’s minimum wage. 60% experienced dangerous working conditions, 21% felt unable to take time off when ill, and sexual harassment was cited as a frequent issue compounded by insecure working arrangements and unequal power dynamics.

There are over 342,000 people working in general building cleaning in the UK and the industry contributes around £5.6 billion to the UK. Why then is exploitation inherent within the sector? One key feature identified in the report is the prevalence of outsourcing in driving risk factors for workers. Outsourcing of Cleaning Services is common and client companies wishing to drive down costs puts downward pressure on wages. The desire to lower costs also manifests itself in the types of contracts offered to workers – many are not classed as employees but rather as temporary workers, agency workers or workers on zero-hour contracts. This effectively means that staff have minimum employment protections with no access to maternity leave, protection against unfair dismissal or time off during emergencies. Those categorised as self-employed have even fewer rights.  The fragmented nature of the workforce, with many working across different sites, makes it incredibly hard to unionise and fight for better conditions.

Low pay combines with the vulnerable status of many in the workforce to make it even harder to hold employers accountable. 81% of cleaners are women and 15% are from ethnic minorities with that figure rising to 42% in London. Given the power imbalances in play its little surprise that exploitation is common leading to sexual harassment and the use of immigration statuses as a means to prevent workers seeking justice.

How then can we shift this model, ensure decent wages, empower staff and recognise cleaners huge contribution to society, putting an end to the low pay and poverty that is too characteristic of the sector? As ever social enterprises are offering an alternative model – one that puts good working conditions and wages at its heart.

Tarem Services are a social enterprise based in London whose mission is to tackle in work poverty and it does this by doing the opposite of what is common practice in the industry. Prior to the Covid-19 Pandemic, Tarem Services employed 110 members of staff, working across 85 different sites. They are an accredited London Living Wage employer with more than 80% of its cleaning and support service contracts paying the Living Wage. Given the competition and pressures in the sector, where there are shortages in contractual negotiations staff are also supported through Tarem’s model of employee ownership of the business.

Whereas a major feature of the cleaning industry is the powerlessness of workers to fight for better terms and conditions, Tarem is effectively owned by its staff with all employees receiving shares in the business after six months of employment. This gives them access to annual dividends. Every employee also receives a monthly percentage of the profit share for the contracts that they work on.

As well as taking on low pay and empowering employees, Tarem also invest at least 8% of its annual income back to its staff and the communities it works with, often working with clients to increase their own social value.

arem Services Social Enterprise UK Social Enterprise Stories Feb 21
Tarem Services

What Tarem is doing is showing how a social enterprise can work in an extremely competitive market but offer an alternative model to how that market works. It is a business built around its staff and it is having a transformational impact on the people who work there. Take the story of Jenny Ramsamy, who works on a cleaning project on the London Living Wage at a school in the capital.

Jenny, a mother of three from Brockley in South London knows all about the precarity of work withing the cleaning industry. Over 6 years ago, she was forced to give up her job as a Chambermaid cleaning bedrooms and bathrooms due to her childcare commitments. What followed was three frustrating years on benefits categorised by a feeling that she would never again be able to be financially independent.

In 2014, Jenny came across a vacancy online with Tarem Services and found the courage to apply. She was invited for an interview and made a very good impression being offered a job on the same day working at Heber Primary School. Jenny was given the opportunity to prove herself and has since been given more responsibilities at the school where she works. She’s passionate about her job and hasn’t looked back since. In addition, this encouraged Jenny to introduce family members and friends to her employer and as a result they are also employed by Tarem Services.

Jenny Ramsamy

Commenting on her work, Jenny said; “Tarem Services have always treated me and other staff members like family. Since joining the company, I was able to come off benefits and they gave me the opportunity to build up my confidence, manage a team and move on from a difficult situation. As a mother, it means a lot to me that my employer has always been flexible because it hasn’t been an easy journey balancing work with family commitments.

When I did not believe in myself, Tarem did. They have always been there for me. I feel valued and there are so many benefits working for an employer like Tarem, especially within the cleaning industry.  A good example is when I received some free everyday essentials before Christmas in December. I appreciate these things because they go a long way.

Another benefit is the profit share I receive each month as well, which makes a big difference to my pay. And with the pay rise I receive every year; all this puts me in a better position to save some money every month.  I can only say, I am very happy and proud to work for a company like Tarem Services.”

Being a sector based around the upkeep of offices and other places of work, COVID did hit Tarem Services hard as 43% of the social enterprise’s clients have not returned to work, impacting the ability of its staff to go to work. 57% of the cleaners Tarem employs are currently furloughed.

In spite of the challenges imposed by the pandemic, Tarem has continued to put the welfare of staff at the forefront of its work. Over the festive period, as the country entered this current lockdown, Tarem sent out ‘claim your essentials’ packs to its employees containing toiletries and other essentials to ease the financial burden experienced by workers over Christmas. The scheme proved to be so popular they have decided to offer the essential packs every 2 months. It has also been there to offer help and advice to employees.

Beyond being a business built around the needs of employees, Tarem Services is also committed to having a positive impact on the communities it works in. Through Social Enterprise UK’s Buy Social Corporate Challenge, it has been running pest control services to digital giant SAP’s sites through their Tier one contractor ISS in Feltnam and Maidenhead. As the result of this partnership, some of the profit from the contract was donated to a local foodbank, helping support over 160 people who rely on it for essentials.

Tarem may be just one business working within a wider industry of low-pay and exploitative conditions, but its existence shows that even a sector as fragmented and complex as the cleaning industry can be transformed through social enterprise.

https://www.socialenterprise.org.uk/blogs/the-social-enterprise-transforming-the-cleaning-industry-and-taking-on-the-gig-economy/

SAP, ISS, Tarem Services Ltd

SOCIAL IMPACT THROUGH COPORATE BUSINESS COLABORATION

The will to work with Social Enterprises is growing, following on from the Buy Social Event Hosted by Lord Victor Adebowale, Chairman of Social Enterprise UK, at the Palaces of Westminster in April 2019.  A new connection was established through this event with Tarem Services Ltd by engaging with SAP (UK) Limited Tier 1 contractor, ISS, resulting in the opportunity to deliver Pest Control Services to SAP (UK) Limited sites in Feltham and Maidenhead.

This has presented other opportunities to overcome the challenges of breaking into the corporate supply chain through partnerships. It has also contributed to Tarem Services’ Social Impact commitment. This engagement has resulted in Feltham and Maidenhead foodbank receiving a donation of £570 – supporting over 160 people – and Tarem Services has been able to offset four tonnes of Co2 in the delivery of the Pest Control Service, making the contract carbon neutral.

Managing Director, Tarem Services, Titus Komolafe said: “As a Social Enterprise, for us it has been an honour to be in a position to work with ISS and SAP. This is a great example of what can be achieved by Corporate entities engaging with Social Enterprises through Tier 1 suppliers.”

Quote from ISS Technical Services’ Kully Bajwa – Key Account Manager:

“Tarem Services have been providing an excellent and professional Pest Control Service on behalf of ISS. Having engaged with Tarem Services in 2019, it has been an absolute pleasure working with them since, and being able to support their Social Enterprise Mission. Being a part of their recent donation to the nominated food banks which will support many people is something ISS are not only proud of, but also keen to continue by supporting Social Enterprises like Tarem Services.”

Quote from SAP (UK) Limited’s Kelvin Ward – Procurement Manager:

“We are proud to have Tarem Services working at our Feltham and Maidenhead sites, and of their social impact and sustainability achievements. Our engagement with Tarem also busts three myths about Social Enterprises; Social Enterprises are more expensive – Tarem are competitive, Social Enterprises lack quality – Tarem’s quality and service is superior to what we had previously

received, and Social Enterprises are not able to meet high barriers for corporate procurement –Tarem fulfilled all of our procurement requirements.”

About Tarem Services Ltd
Serving London for over 20 years, Tarem Services Ltd is a
social enterprise company with a difference. Where experience has shown us that cleaning is one of the lowest paid jobs in the UK and one of the most important. Most cleaners have to juggle 3 to 4 jobs per night, on contracts paying only the ‘living wage’. For this reason, in 2006 we made it our goal to focus on tackling in-work poverty by ensuring that the cleaners working for us are recognised for the important and essential work that they do.

We achieve this by enabling them to share in the success of the business along with becoming an employee shareholder. Not only do our employees receive annual dividends from the profits made by the company, but they also receive a monthly profit share produced by the individual contract they are working on. This unprecedented move has transformed the lives of our staff that has resulted in exceptionally low staff turnover. And the workforce putting in the maximum effort that enables each contract to be finished to a very high standard.

About SAP

SAP’s strategy is to help every business run as an intelligent enterprise. As a market leader in enterprise application software, we help companies of all sizes and in all industries run at their best: 77% of the world’s transaction revenue touches an SAP® system. Our machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics technologies help turn customers’ businesses into intelligent enterprises. SAP helps give people and organizations deep business insight and fosters collaboration that helps them stay ahead of their competition. We simplify technology for companies so they can consume our software the way they want – without disruption. Our end-to-end suite of applications and services enables business and public customers across 25 industries globally to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and make a difference. With a global network of customers, partners, employees, and thought leaders, SAP helps the world run better and improve people’s lives. For more information, visit www.sap.com.

Centre point sleep-out to raise money for the homeless

Our very own HR manager, Vanessa Johnson, took the challenge in the middle of winter to raise money for the Homeless charity, Centrepoint.  She successfully raised just under £1000 as a result.

Vanessa had a few words to share about her experience:

“I took part in the sleep-out this year for the first time and I must say it was a very humbling and eye-opening experience which will stay with me for a lifetime. The atmosphere on the evening itself was great and there were hundreds of fundraisers participating on the day to raise much needed cash to support the work at Centrepoint. 

Although the event was heavily manned with security staff, I underestimated how vulnerable I would feel. It really made me take the time to think more about people having to live in these conditions every day, about how this is their reality and they have no choice but to cope physically and mentally without any support. My sleeping bag was later donated to a young man I met locally who was sleeping rough.”

Vanessa Johnson

HR & Office Manager

Buy Social Corporate Challenge Launch event

This event was held at the Palaces of Westminster and was attended by corporate giants such as Thomson Reuters, SAP, Wates, Linklaters, Mace, LV, Nationwide, Reuters and many more.  All supported this magnificent event, involving corporate organisation providing social enterprises with an opportunity to be a part of their supply chain. The event was hosted by Lord Victor Adebowale at the House of Commons Terrace Pavilion.  He kindly agreed for photographs to be taken with two of our directors, Titus Komolafe and Torquil Allen.

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