Subway sack New Addington woman by text message 'after she complains over unfair pay'
A LONG-TERM job seeker who found work through the Government's flagship employment scheme is out of a job again after being sacked by text message.
After spending nine months out of work, Hannah Sturdy secured a position working at Subway through jobs firm A4e.
But in nearly two months at the branch in Valley Park, the 20-year-old claims to have received little pay.
When she complained she was sacked without so much as a phone call.
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"After I lost my last job I did every I was told to do to try and find a new one – only to be treated like absolute rubbish," said Hannah, from Frensham Drive, New Addington.
After stepping down from a position at Pizza Hut due to a lack of hours, Hannah went to Jobcentre Plus before her case was passed to A4e, one of the companies which provides the Government's Work Programme for the long term unemployed.
They found her a job working an average of 20 hours a week at a Subway franchise, which she started on December 13 last year.
When her first fortnightly pay day arrived, Hannah discovered she had not been paid.
She complained to her manager and then the owner of franchise but two weeks later the same situation occurred.
Hannah escalated the complaint to her A4e representative and eventually two small amounts of money were paid into her account.
In the hope the situation would improve, and of longer shifts, she gave up her new position at Pizza Hut, where she worked a few hours a week.
But on Wednesday last week, after calling her bosses at Subway to check when she was next working, she received a text message which read: "I am very sorry Hannah but we but we made a decision with Joseph [the franchisee] and you did not pass your observation.
"There were a lot of complaints from staff. All money will be paid into your account and I will talk to Oby [from A4E] about you and how you worked."
But Hannah told the Advertiser: "I wasn't aware of any complaints about me and I never had any verbal or written warnings.
"The only feedback I got was that I was doing well. I think it's because I made such a fuss about not being paid.
"They clearly thought they can walk all over me and get away with anything."
Hannah, who estimates she is owed more than £700 after tax, has yet to hear from A4e since she was sacked.
A spokesman for the company said it was, effectively, not its problem.
"All the issues surrounding Ms Sturdy's employment and the circumstances of her departure are a matter for her and her former employer Subway, not A4e," she said.
"Now her employment has come to an end, we will continue to offer her our support to find an alternative post."
Subway said: "As part of their agreement franchisees are required to comply with employment law.
"This means franchisees are obliged to observe the law in recruiting, contracting and in all dealings with employees.
"The Subway brand will offer any assistance necessary to help with any investigation being undertaken."
Under the Government's Work Programme private companies and charities are paid to find jobs for the long-term unemployed.
Joining the work programme is mandatory for people over 25 when they have been out of work for a year and for under-25s after nine months.
The owner of Subway Valley Park was unavailable for comment when the Advertiser went to press.