A dispute has intensified between homeworking companies Future Travel and Travel Counsellors over which offers the best working conditions for travel agents.

In a staff survey Future Travel revealed 24% of its homeworkers earn more than £300 a week, equating to £15,600 a year on average.

The news sparked a response from rival Travel Counsellors, which put out a statement revealing 41% of its agents earn more than £300 a week, with average earnings at £16,819. This puts the difference in average salaries between the two at £1,219.

Travel Counsellors managing director Steve Byrne said the fact its company had abandoned its telesales model and developed its own dynamic packaging system was key to the pay gap.

“The gap between us and other homeworking firms is widening. Our Counsellors are earning far more than those working for other homeworking companies and for travel agencies generally,” he said.

Future brand development manager Amanda Taylor hit back: “There is only a marginal difference between the average income of a Future Travel homeworker and of that purported by Travel Counsellors. The difference is more than outweighed by the full marketing support provided free of charge to our homeworkers.”

Meanwhile, Travel Counsellors put out further figures to contrast its staff working hours with those of Future. It said 71% of its agents work 31 to 50 hours a week, compared to 45% of Future’s agents working 41 to 60 hours a week and 22% working more than 60 hours.

However, Taylor said the fact only agents who had been with Future less than five years were surveyed had to be taken into account, as they were still in the early stages of building up their businesses.