Report slams call centre conditions

An independent report has slammed Indian call centres as modern day sweatshops comparable with Roman slave ships.

The study into working conditions in centres, compiled for the Indian government by the Delhi-based National Institute of Labour, accuses managers of bullying staff and creating a climate of fear.

It says centres offer little job security and oppressive working conditions that lead to a high turnover of staff.

Kent Reliance, whose subsidiary EasiProcess in based in Bangalore, India, attributes high staff turnover in call centres to time differences between India and the UK, and demanding shift work.

But the society defends the conditions in its India-based offices and says they have the highest standards of HR and health.

Rob Procter, deputy chief executive of Kent Reliance, says: “Our operation in India is nothing like a sweatshop. All our workers have dual screens, plenty of room, transport, security and leisure facilities.

“Since it opened in December 2004, not one member of staff has left.”