The Local Property Employee Dilemma

Jun 21, 2018

There is a trend erupting across several industries where companies are employing workers, but who are at the same time, self-employed. Uber, Deliveroo, Hermes, Addison Lee, Pimlico Plumbers, to name a few, all have employees working for them, while also under the status of self-employment. This has ultimately led to debate about the employment status of these workers

But this practice could lead to a number of other problems outside of the courts, including unfair dismissal and a wage that isn’t guaranteed for these “non-employed employees”. So really, the only benefits are for the company who is selfishly employing these individuals because they do not have to give sick leave, holiday time, or even make National Insurance contributions.

This is an issue that has also become a hot topic within the estate agency sector.

Our own Russell Quirk has voiced his concern about it with regard to the “Local Property Agents” hired by some online and hybrid agents. These LPAs are the feet on the ground for digital agents and are there to visit a seller’s property, provide a valuation and if necessary compile floor plans and photographs for their online listing.

The Local Property Employee Dilemma

At Emoov we’re proud that we actually employ our Local Property Agents as full members of staff and as such, they receive all the same benefits as any other Emoov employee.

But the same can’t be said for some of the industry’s other biggest players who are using self-employed individuals to carry out this aspect of their service.

Purplebricks and YOPA are the two most notable in the industry that is guilty of this, and they ask that their self-employed local property agents set up a limited company that they then trade with, in order to work as an estate agent whose job it is to list houses for sale for under wider company name.

What is concerning about this is that these “non-employees” are going to people’s homes under the pretence that they are working for a company that a customer has signed up with, but are really their own entity.

Not only does this raise questions about the consistency when delivering a service, it also means these employees don’t benefit from standard practices such as holiday and sick leave.  

You can read Russell’s full article on the subject here.