The Dark Side of Direct Sales 23 August 2022: Tuesday on BBC Three

The Dark Side of Direct Sales 23 August 2022: Tuesday on BBC Three 11

Big money, glam work trips abroad and becoming your own boss. Sounds good for your first job out of college or uni, doesn’t it?

Some direct-selling firms in the UK are jumping on the popularity of hustle culture to recruit young people into entry-level jobs in ‘marketing’ or ‘management’ to work with big-name clients.

The reality is often very different though – working 80-hour weeks doing door-to-door sales or selling to people on the street. An ex-agent at one company in Newcastle said forfeits for not hitting sales targets included eating chillies or having your hair cut off. He said he was earning so little he couldn’t afford shampoo. Another in London said the pressure to get sales meant she was denied toilet breaks.

So how is this possible, and who is responsible for the welfare of these young people? Despite some offices offering full-time jobs, often advertised with a base salary, Lora Jones discovers many are asked to register as self-employed and so don’t receive a minimum wage and holiday.

With the rise of hustle culture and #riseandgrind, have they been sold a dream? And what can young people do to protect themselves?



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