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Charity fundraising firm leaves city after pay revelations

PUBLISHED: 10:42 21 August 2018 | UPDATED: 10:52 21 August 2018

Norfolk and Suffolk Promotions raising money for Battersea Dogs Home outside Primark in Norwich earlier this year. Photo: Archant

Norfolk and Suffolk Promotions raising money for Battersea Dogs Home outside Primark in Norwich earlier this year. Photo: Archant

Archant

A company where charity fundraisers could work all day for no money has left Norwich after an exposé by this newspaper.

Norfolk and Suffolk Promotions attracted a litany of complaints from former workers, prompting our undercover reporter to apply for a job in December last year at the firm.

We found the marketing company, based on Silver Road, in Norwich, was only paying workers commission in the face-to-face fundraising roles, meaning they could work all day for no money.

Paying workers just commission goes against the charity Fundraising Regulator’s code.

It states charities should not use commission payments unless all other sources of fundraising have been “explored and exhausted” and warns it could lead to “high-pressure fundraising tactics”.

That code does not apply directly to Norfolk and Suffolk Promotions but it does apply to charities who used the firm.

The former office of marketing company Norfolk and Suffolk Promotions on Silver Road, Norwich. Photo: ArchantThe former office of marketing company Norfolk and Suffolk Promotions on Silver Road, Norwich. Photo: Archant

That included Battersea Dogs Home, which stopped using the company after our investigation, and the National Deaf Children’s Society.

Last week Norfolk and Suffolk Promotions changed its address from Silver Road in north Norwich to Stamford Street in London.

No one answered its phone number when we called on Tuesday and when we visited the office that day a new company had taken over the building.

A worker for that company said Norfolk and Suffolk Promotions had left several weeks ago.

The company has not posted any updates on its website or its Facebook page since March.

Previous job adverts claimed people could earn up to £27,000 per year in marketing roles with “uncapped commission-only pay”.

But they are self-employed meaning they do not have to be paid the minimum wage.

Our reporter was offered the self-employed role, along with £600 a month for living expenses on a temporary basis - the equivalent of £7,200 a year and well below the national minimum wage.

During the interview, our reporter was told by the company’s managing director Simon Reynolds that he could be running his own office within 12 months.

But the first few weeks would involve face-to-face sales. Workers could earn between £20 to £30 for each sale.

The company has been contacted for comment.

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