Thousands of low paid workers employed by ISS, a multibillion pound global outsourcing giant, are up in arms after being told the company will withhold up to a week’s pay from workers.

ISS staff provide vital public services and support for private businesses. Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, is spearheading a demo later today (Friday 5 April 2019, 13:00) to protest against ISS’ plans at the Royal Liverpool Hospital and Broadgreen Hospital. ISS workers affected also include security staff at Barclays bank in Canary Wharf and Goldman Sachs.

The outsourcer has unilaterally decided to change its pay cycle for its workers including hourly paid workers. When workers get paid on the new pay date of 9 May 2019, hourly paid workers will have worked three weeks but will only be paid for two on the new pay day. The change means ISS will withhold a week’s pay. The staff will not receive the money owed until they eventually leave the company.

Workers on low pay are already struggling to make ends meet and will face genuine hardship as a result, with many not knowing how they will meet their financial commitments. And in an act of ‘astonishing nerve’ ISS, which has a global revenue worth billions, offered to loan workers their own money but they will have to pay it back within eight weeks.

ISS employs around 40,000 employees across the UK, many of whom are paid hourly and earn the minimum wage.

Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe, Unite national officer for health, said: “Without any proper consultation ISS is withholding its workers’ pay and plunging many who live from hand to mouth into genuine hardship. And in an act of astonishing nerve the company which is worth billions has offered to loan workers their own money to cover the shortfall . This is yet another example of bandit capitalism by the outsourcing industry.

“This decision will hit low paid workers keeping our public services safe and clean, as well as workers providing services to businesses including Barclays and Goldman Sachs. This giant outsourcer seems to believe that the impact of restructuring its pay roll systems should fall heavily on the shoulders of workers on low pay. It’s clear the company has taken this callous decision without any regard for its hardworking staff who help run our public services.

“Unite is consulting its members on the next steps and we are determined to fight this decision. Unions are meeting the company next week where we will be demanding that ISS pay workers what they are owed.


Unite is a union that campaigns for and delivers better pay and conditions for its members. Unite is winning at work based on three core values. Secure Work: fighting for jobs and job security, Strong Voice: a union which is a respected voice at work and Decent Pay: a union focused on pay and conditions.

For more information contact Ciaran Naidoo 07768 931 315

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.