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Welcome to BBC London News. I'm Victoria Hollins.
This programme has gone undercover to expose sham self-employment
in which workers are sometimes paid as little as ?2 an hour,
Soap Co sell beauty products in some of Londons most prestigious
shopping areas in Westfield, Covent Garden and Mayfair.
Our hidden cameras have revealed how it breaks the law
by telling its staff they're self employed but then treating them
as employees and insisting they work a 60 hour week without paid sick
One legal expert has described it as a flagrant
BBC London's been investigating a company operating
in some of the UK's most prestigious shopping locations.
In what's called bogus self-employment.
This manager tells our undercover researcher that to work at her
Soap Co, with no connection to other firms of similar names,
sell skin products from the Dead Sea in outlets at the Westfield
And at their high end Sakare stores in Covent Garden and Mayfair.
We've heard they're treating staff badly.
Our undercover researcher will go and work for Soap Co
in their Westfield outlet, and later in Covent Garden.
Self-employed people should have the freedom
to choose when they work, but here, it's a mandatory schedule.
They have to be at work for around 60 hours, six days a week.
Do you know if we can take days off on the weekend?
A self-employed person would ordinarily be free to do the work,
And that's not what we saw was happening here.
And they're highly controlled, with penalties for not cleaning
Some of the workers Carla speaks to are exhausted
Snezana from Bulgaria like many of the workers
here was recruited from abroad with the offer of
accommodation and a job. Now she's quit.
When people are pushing you, and they stress you every day,
six days, 12 hours, you're under stress all the time.
I was thinking that I will come to do something with my life.
And after that, I become, like, without any money,
any, any basically. They left me without nothing.
By claiming staff are self-employed, this company avoids having to pay
a whole host of in-work benefits, such as sick and holiday pay,
When Carla collector first pay packet, it's well under the national
For 90 hours, I've received, like, ?200, which is less than ?3 an hour.
This is false self-employment, and this is much more and employment
But unfortunately, quite an exploitative
Soap Co in Finchley is owned by Gil Mandell,
and Saha Medinah in London, with his sister in charge
In a statement, Soap Co say they took their responsible
They said, "We are extremely concerned to hear about
the allegations made by some individuals about the company's
As a consequence, we are reviewing those allegations,
and the implications, if any, regarding the employment
We also asked these two managers about their understanding
of the working relationship here, but they didn't respond.
Soap Co operate in London's top shopping locations,
but there are big questions for customers of its skin care
products, over the working relationship with its staff.
They're generations apart, the very young and the older amongst us.
Now for the first time in the UK, nursery school children and people
who live in a care home are spending time together every day
Graham Satchell went to find out more.
Young and old, singing, playing, interacting together.
When it officially opens in September, this will be the first
nursery in the country to be sited in the grounds of a care home.
Children spend more of their time away from other age groups,
and the elderly spend more of their time
There's something very natural about bringing them back together.
A sports day to celebrate the opening, and 87-year-old Faye
is showing off her egg and spoon skills.
Children from a nearby nursery have been coming here on weekly
trips since January, and Faye has loved it.
So we sing and we dance, and play games.
And for most of the residents that go, they have a great time.
Bringing young and old together like this already happens
Experts say the advantages are clear, particularly
for the elderly, in tackling isolation and loneliness.
Finding the right sites with enough space, and of course,
making sure both children and adults are safe.
Back inside, 90-year-old Walter is making glasses out of Play-Doh,
Careful play arranged by grown-ups is teaching them
As an old person, coming to the end of my life,
it's a great joy to see the new human beings
growing and growing slowly into people.
There's certainly hope here that it will benefit young and old.
Now lets check on the Weather with Wendy Hurrell at Wimbledon.
You have your Wellington boots on. Not a good sign.
Never a good sign. The umbrella is down but it has been up and the
covers as well here. As we go through the afternoon, rain will
become more persistent here and elsewhere across London. By the time
we get to evening rush-hour, a really good splash of rain and some
of it will be heavy, too. Fresh today, 21 degrees. Through the
evening, rain continuing, heavy in places, particularly in the early
hours of the morning. Humid tonight with temperatures down to 12 or 13.
If you are up early, it will be breezy, you might see rain, but it
all calms down and the sun will come out, with cloud in the afternoon.
Temperatures pleasantly 21 or 22 degrees. Thursday, sunny spells on
and off. On the outlook, dry weather through to the end of the week with
one or two showers around on Friday morning. At the moment, a good spell
of rain for the gardens, brollies down for now at least, but they will
be up again later. Riz Lateef will be here
with our 6:30 evening programme. But for now, from us all,
a very good afternoon. Oh, Arthur lives down the hill
and I live down the hill. MAN: What makes you two make
different from each other? but I don't, like,
love it as much as Lucy. Oh, Arthur lives down the hill
and I live down the hill. Good at counting
and I'm good at hiding. 'From the heights
of the Scottish Highlands