SOCIETY is threatened because of “punitive” measures against workers put in place by Waitrose during the Covid-19 pandemic, he said.
Staff at high-end grocery stores have been told that they will have to “reimburse” the time off if they have to isolate themselves because of the symptoms of the fatal disease.
Any worker with serious underlying health problems who stays at home to protect themselves will also have to reimburse up to two weeks for the work they missed, an informant told The Sunday National. She said this also applies to anyone who stays at home to protect a vulnerable family member.
According to the informant, the policy could lead to the arrival of staff and the spread of infection to members of the public because they cannot afford to stay at home.
“My biggest concern about this is that the truly vulnerable will not isolate themselves or protect themselves, and those who need to isolate themselves because of a family illness will put society as a whole at risk because of these punitive measures, “she said.
“Buyers could be put at risk if we have partners with sick spouses or children who come to the stores.”
The Waitrose and John Lewis stores are part of the John Lewis partnership, and staff are partnered with the company.
“Partnership my ar * e,” said the whistleblower. “We are essential for people to get the food they need and the Partnership has chosen to distinguish us for this treatment.”
Workers are exasperated because nearly 1,400 John Lewis employees were put on full pay leave during the pandemic after the company closed its 50 stores last week. Some have been invited to work in Waitrose stores, but if they volunteer, they will not be required to reimburse at any time if they self-isolate, said the informant.
Complaints were made to management over the treatment of Waitrose workers, but said it was important that the public be aware of the “at risk” policy.
“Despite all the help that has been put in place for John Lewis as a whole by the governments of the United Kingdom, part of the workforce is being treated in an appalling and unfair manner,” said the worker.
“We have no choice. We have to work – we are “key workers”. We must not only work our contract shifts, but also pick up others where necessary to secure the food supply. “
Return on investment information was released to staff the same day it was announced that they would receive a £ 200 bonus for continuing their work.
“It wouldn’t even take 25 hours of our time,” said the whistleblower. “It is an insult to all of us. Most importantly, like John Lewis partners who work for the same partnership are sitting at home, on leave and self-insulating, at full salary for 12 weeks, while Waitrose partners who do the right thing will lose two weeks of salary or will have to work 78 hours overtime.
“John Lewis’ partners got a 100% salary and that’s great and some of them can choose to volunteer in their local Waitrose, but if they have to isolate themselves then they won’t have not to be refunded at any time. This was confirmed to us today.
“Half of the company is favored and the other half is penalized and they are still working.
“We are really angry – escaped. One woman said that she had been so touched a few weeks ago because she finally felt valued as a key worker, but had been taken away from her.
“Many people who have worked with Waitrose for centuries and who isolate or protect family members are now receiving phone calls telling them that they will have to pay back their time.
“It’s just a huge kick in the teeth.
“Most of the employees are really honest, but now they will have to lie and come to work even if they are not supposed to or reimburse between 74 and 78 hours if they are full-time and isolate themselves for two weeks.
“They allow us to postpone it until 2021, but we have to work the overtime because we did what was necessary to protect the public. This will be problematic if you have two jobs to make ends meet or if you have to take children and not have free time.
“It is shocking in this time of emergency.”
A spokesperson for Waitrose said the company asked staff to “do as much time as possible.”
“However, we understand that this is not possible for everyone, so each case will be examined individually and discussed with their manager,” she said.
The spokesperson added: “The health of our partners is our top priority. We have provided advice to partners who may have a weakened immune system to check with their primary healthcare provider for their specific needs before discussing work adjustments with their manager.
“For all partners who self-isolate due to a family member with symptoms of Covid-19, if they are physically well enough to work, we will explore the possibility of working from home in first time.
“However, as with many of our workshop partners, this option is not available to them. Consequently, these partners will be paid in full for the duration of their self-isolation. For partners who have self-isolated for more than seven days, we ask them to obtain an online isolation note on the NHS 111 website and provide it to their HR manager when they return to work. .
“As far as possible, we ask the partners to time.
A spokesman for Uskaw, which has members in Waitrose, said the union is not recognized by the company and therefore has not been informed of their policies. However, he added, “We expect employers to take appropriate safety measures to keep workers safe. Any Usdaw member with concerns should contact the union for advice. “
Supermarkets faced record demand in March, showed new figures. Sales have increased 20.6% in the past four weeks and 7.6% in the past 12.
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