My lodger, while he has so far paid his rent on time, has had a rather erratic job history while he's been staying here. He primarily works as a forklift truck driver/general warehouse assistant for various agencies here in the north west of England.

He's not held a job at a single company for more than 8 weeks, sometimes as little as 2-3 days, and typically only between 4 and 6 weeks. He says that the companies regularly lay off the agency workers after just a few weeks of work, or even after only a few days. Is this likely to be true, or could it be more complicated than that? I've had rumours from some of his old friends that he had been sacked for misconduct before, but it was a long time ago and I'm inclined to believe that he has matured since then.

He does usually pick up new work within a week or so, and as I've said so far he's never been late with the rent. I apologise if this question makes it seem like I'm prying too much into his personal business, but he's a very nice person and I'm happy to let him go into arrears while he finds more work and rebuilds his finances, and he has always paid me back. I just don't want to feel like I'm being taken advantage of.

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  • Why the downvotes? Is this not an appropriate question? – Crazymoomin Feb 28 '15 at 18:02
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    I don't understand why this was closed. I was asking if such a thing is considered normal and whether I should be concerned. Please provide an explanation. – Crazymoomin Apr 9 '15 at 0:23
  • You are asking if you should be concerned about your renter working temp jobs. That is not about navigating the workplace. There is no problem to solve here or I might recommend a better SE for you to ask on but as it is I do not think it fits anywhere. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Jul 1 '15 at 15:25
  • So this SE is only for asking questions about the workplace that affect me directly? Also, I was not asking about if I should be concerned about my renter working temp jobs, I was asking if his high job turnover was typical or if he was being regularly dismissed for other reasons. If that is not relevant either, then that's fine as well of course. – Crazymoomin Jul 1 '15 at 15:51
  • P.S. FYI, this question is no longer relevant, so I'm not asking for a re-open, just a clarification. P.P.S. There's a meta post about this question if you don't want to clutter this comments section up: link – Crazymoomin Jul 1 '15 at 15:53

Are layoffs this common

Yes and no, retail and warehousing often have high and low seasons, during the low season they tend to cut a lot of jobs from sales to warehousing people. So that said having people hired and gone in a matter of weeks isn't unheard of at all...

At the same time though seasons are pretty static by industry and tend to roughly follow Spring, summer, fall, and winter where different lines of business thrive at different times of year. That said usually most of the time summer is when the jobs dry up, fall is the fast season for warehouse people.


Now to unspoken concern here. "I'm renting this guy space, he makes his bills, but his work life is a mess, should I worry?"

Well that depends, his friends mentioned misconduct terminations in the past. If those were due to violence, fraud, etc then that's worth worrying about. If it was for tardiness, laziness, etc well that's not good for him... but if you're paid on time reliably then between you two everything is golden.

So as the person renting out your property I wouldn't be worried unless it looks like you're not going to get paid, or he's likely to cause unreasonable damage to the property staying in it, as it stands even though his work life is questionable he does seem to have arguable stable finances that it's not been a problem. Until it is think of this as just an odd personality quirk.

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  • Thanks. Yes, that probably is my primary concern. AFAIK he's not been fired for anything violent or criminal. According to his friends, he was fired from a docks for driving cars a bit too "vigorously" (he was taking them off ferries and onto transporters) and breaking the speed limit, which is obviously pretty serious, but he denies this happened. They also said he's been late a few times too, but I'm not sure he was ever fired for it. Overall, I don't want to have to evict him as we've become good friends, so I hope he gets something more stable soon. – Crazymoomin Feb 27 '15 at 23:06

He's doing agency work, that typically means quick turnovers: companies looking for longer term employees typically wouldn't use agency workers, who are usually more expensive due to agency fees.

Agency workers in warehouses tend to be used either to cover peaks or industry specific seasons or one-off projects.

His sound slightly shorter than normal, but it sounds like he's getting work quickly enough, which suggest he's getting reasonably good reviews (agency workers get reviews passed back after each stint), and he doesn't seem to be struggling with money.

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