The troubled Student Loans Company now ranks as the worst place to work in the public sector with fed-up workers describing the atmosphere as ‘soul destroying’.
Morale has plummeted across the organisation’s four offices in Glasgow, Llandudno Junction and Darlington with disillusioned employees slamming the firm online.
The embattled company has sparked outrage in recent months after it was revealed it had raked in £51million in unnecessary repayments as graduates were unknowingly overcharged.
Workers online paint a picture of a ‘miserable’ atmosphere where low-level staff who wish to help students are stopped by management.
Morale has plummeted across the organisation’s four offices in Glasgow, Llandudno Junction and Darlington with disillusioned employees slamming the firm online
Writing on employer review site Glassdoor, one former worker said conditions are so bad two people have given up managerial positions to work at Greggs and Wetherspoons.
He wrote: ‘The pay is not acceptable for the level of complexity of the work. Staff have left SLC to work as Greggs because they get better pay.’
He said the internal development and recruitment process was unprofessional and lacks transparency.
He added a past call centre manager was now a barman in Wetherspoons.
The stateowned company sparked anger among its customer service representatives who were hit with angry calls from graduates over the repayments debacle.
More than 86,000 former students ended up overpaying their loans by a total of £51 million, a 65 per cent increase on 2010, because the SLC does not have the technical capability to take real-time data from the taxman.
One former Darlington call centre advisor accused the company of not having a grip of their finances. He wrote in a review of the company: ‘There is a general lack of concern towards tax payers’ money and issues of students being overpaid incorrectly are regularly ignored.’
One former Darlington call centre advisor said staff were leaving to work in Greggs because it was better paid
Another who worked in the company’s flagship head offices in Glasgow described management as ‘seriously below par’
In total the Glasgow-based firm was rated a damming 2.5 out of 5 as a place to work, making it the worst public sector place to be employed in the UK.
The average for public sector bodies – including the police force and the NHS – rank at 3.6.
Less than a third said they would recommend working for the company to friends and family compared with an average of more than 60 per cent across the public sector as a whole.
A current finance assessor, who has worked in the Darlington branch for the past three years, wrote: ‘I cannot emphasise enough what a soul destroying place to work this is. Many of the staff want to do the best for the students but their hands are tied by substandard, not-fit-for purpose systems, and team leaders and management who seem to go out of their way to make things hard for customers.’
A spokesperson for the company told MailOnline: ‘SLC’s 2020 Strategy recognises the need for a change in culture along with new ways of working to make SLC a better place to work.
‘A number of initiatives to improve organisational health have recently been launched and we will track their progress through formal regular employee engagement surveys, as well as monitoring external sites such as Glassdoor and Indeed.’
Pictured: The Student Loans Company call centre in Darlington