Umunna apologises to company accused of ‘dubious arrangements’ in insurance miss-selling
Tue, 28 Jan 2014 | By Colin Cottell
Shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna has apologised to a company he accused last week of “putting together dubious arrangements for agencies” in relation to alleged miss-selling by recruitment companies of accident insurance to temporary workers.
The allegations made against employee benefits provider Gee 7 were strenuously denied by the company.
Jon Pardoe, managing director of Gee 7, tells Recruiter: “The bottom line is that we have never ever transacted or arranged one temporary worker accident insurance policy.
“Our stance has always been that such insurance provides limited cover and is in most instances unnecessary.”
Pardoe says his company “was told about one recruitment company selling temporary accident insurance rumoured to be earning in excess of £1m per annum”. However, he adds: “We had no details of the product or the way it was sold.”
Pardoe explains that Gee 7 offers a platform for employee benefits and staff perks, such as shopping discounts, travel offers and employee assistance programmes, for example, a legal help line.
“Frankly, it is a disgrace for him to make these allegations using parliamentary privilege. If he had made them outside Parliament, he would have been sued.”
Umunna told Parliament yesterday: "I am happy to concede, with hindsight, that it was not fair of me to raise its part in this matter without giving it the opportunity to reply. I regret that, and I apologise to the company for doing it. I am also happy to acknowledge—it is only fair to do so—that it has denied this.
"I am also pleased that Mr Pardoe has said that, in principle, he disagrees with such arrangements. Beyond that, it would not be proper for me to say anything further, given that the secretary of state is looking into the broader issue of employment agencies.
Pardoe tells Recruiter that Umunna’s apology is “obviously very good”.