Estate agents in Bromley, Kent say they are growing increasingly annoyed and angry that an employee of a Countrywide competitor, who they says worked through the lockdown despite being furloughed, has yet to be investigated.
This case first surfaced two weeks ago, and at the time Countrywide said in a statement that it would take “whatever action necessary” following the allegations. But so far, nothing has happened.
The Countrywide staff member involved has subsequently threatened an agent in the area if they continue to press on with their criticisms.
The agency which made the initial complaints says it’s baffling that Countrywide hasn’t been in touch with him to discuss the problem, despite the fact that Claire Raines, its Head of Employee Relations, has been sent documentation to back up its claims.
The Negotiator has been shown photographs dated 30th April of the male employee leading two clients to a property viewing in the area without any PPE equipment, or protective measures in place.
Comments on social media have identified the Countrywide brand involved as a multi-branch agency in and around Bromley in Kent.
Other agents have told The Negotiator that he ‘blatantly’ broke the furlough rules and for example used his mobile number on messages for clients to contact him through, clearly proving that he was working. as well as being seen on viewings.
The rules state that an employee who is furloughed may take paid work with other companies, with their employer’s agreement, but that overall the scheme is “to provide employers with an option to keep employees on the payroll without them working” and avoid redundancies.
Countrywide has been approached for comment but has so far not responded.