LATEST: Purplebricks reveals more about move to directly-employed teams

Estate agency says it is in discussions with field sales staff about how to unpick its existing LPE and Territory Owner structure.


Purplebricks has revealed more details about its move from indirectly using staff via a self-employed model to being fully-employed staff.

While moving its existing 600 or so Local Property Experts (LPEs) from self-employed status, Purplebricks has told The Negotiator that the matter of its many Territory Owners (TOs) is a more delicate issue.

Many will have sunk considerable time and financial resources into establishing and running their territories – so what now?

A spokesperson from Purplebricks said: “We’re talking to the all the TOs individually about the move to the employed model, what it means for them and how we can help them during the transition.”

But Purplebricks has confirmed that these TOs will be moving to an employed and more traditional Area Director employment status moving forward.

The estate agency says otherwise day-to-day life for its LPEs and TOs will remain the same; working from home in their local areas and with the flexibility to work when and how they want.

“There are no plans to set up regional hubs,” the spokesperson said.

Purplebricks has said that it wants to be ‘more in control’ of its workforce, able to hire and fire like a traditional business and get a firmer grip on training programmes and customers service.

But speculation is rife within the industry that there is a more practical motive – HMRC’s recent IR35 initiative.

It has clamped down heavily on companies who use self-employed staff, requiring them to have multiple streams of work and not, as Purplebricks’ LPEs have had, a single client.

Henry Pryor image“Can’t help but think that sooner rather than later the tax man was going to argue that self-employed ’local property experts’ working solely for Purplebricks were in fact employees, just as they have done in other instances,” says industry commentator and buying agent Henry Pryor (pictured).

One Comment

  1. Well its obviously IR35 otherwise why move so quickly why cant Purplebricks be honest to their stockholders for once? They have most likely been given an ultimatum from HMRC by end August or face a legal case that they can least afford nor win… and quiet rightly in my opinion. Welcome back to the corporate fold PB and good luck with that….

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