Page last updated at 21:08 GMT, Thursday, 30 July 2009 22:08 UK

Response from Hotelcare

Hotelcare respond to BBC allegations that cleaners employed by them to work in Park Plaza hotels have been paid less than the minimum wage.

"Hotelcare is concerned and disappointed by the allegations about its working practises (sic) that were broadcast by BBC radio 4 on the PM programme at 5pm today. It takes this matter extremely seriously and is investigating it thoroughly.

"A vague indication of the BBC's allegations against Hotelcare was provided to Hotelcare seven days ago. Hotelcare immediately commenced an investigation which is ongoing, although it has been difficult because the BBC chose only to provide Hotelcare with very basic details of the basis for its allegations, and no supporting evidence at all.

"Through its solicitors, Hotelcare informed the BBC that the investigation was underway, and requested on several occasions an opportunity to provide a full response. It asked the BBC not to broadcast its allegations until it had been given that opportunity. It was made clear that this would only take a few days and that Hotelcare's response would be available next week.

"Hotelcare will now be studying the contents of the BBC's broadcast carefully, in consultation with its solicitors. In the meantime, Hotelcare wishes to make clear that as one of the UK's leading companies in hotel cleaning, employing approximately 2000 staff at hotels nationally, it fully understands that its staff are a crucial asset to its business.

"It is not Hotelcare's policy to pay staff less than the national minimum wage. Hotelcare is fully committed to paying all staff at least the national minimum wage. Hotelcare contracts provide for the calculation of pay at an hourly rate of at least the national minimum wage. If it transpires that in any isolated cases there has been a breach of Hotelcare's clear policy of always paying staff for all hours worked at (at least) the minimum wage. Hotelcare will immediately rectify the issue.

"Hotelcare does not expect staff at any of its hotels to work at an unrealistic and unreasonable pace, contrary to the suggestion of the BBC. This would completely undermine the successful business that Hotelcare has developed, which is based on the simple philosophy of meeting the needs of its hotel clients and their guests, both of whom rightly demand the highest standards of room cleanliness."

Watch Newsnight's report in full on Thursday 30 July at 10.30pm on BBC Two.

Newsnight will update you on any important developments from Hotelcare's point of view on our website.

Exploitation of workers at top hotels
31 Jul 09 |  Newsnight
Top hotels rooms 'not properly cleaned'
31 Jul 09 |  Newsnight
Response from Park Plaza Hotels Ltd
30 Jul 09 |  Newsnight

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