She broke Birds’ Covid-19 regulations that sellers cannot accept cash.
Card-only transactions have been introduced to minimize any risk of disease transmission between staff and customers.
But Ms Metcalfe accepted cash from customers and used her own debit card to pay for the items, making it look like the transaction was done by card.
She would ask them to put the money directly in her purse.
The bakery chain – which is based in Derby – said it was “with regret” that she had to fire Ms Metcalfe because of her actions.
Reacting to her dismissal, Ms Metcalfe told Nottinghamshire Live: ‘I realize what I was doing was against company policy. But they had picked up the items and were already ready to buy them.
“There’s no way I can let an elderly man or woman walk away telling them that they couldn’t buy it because they didn’t have a card. They had also already handled the stock so it would have to be put away or cleaned. “
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Ms Metcalfe said she took around £ 180 in payments at the Radcliffe-on-Trent branch where she worked.
She said she was suspended from work for a week with full pay on June 19 and appeared before a disciplinary hearing the following week before being fired from the company.
“I was just trying to do the right thing. I’m really upset by that of course, ”she added.
“I worked at Birds for 44 years, 25 of which were as a manager.
“I was told that I was putting the lives of staff members in danger by doing what I did.
“At no time was the money transferred. It was right in my purse, then I put the card payment in and showed them the receipt.
“I shouldn’t have done it, but I don’t like to let people down and a lot of these clients depend on us, coming to see us every day. “
Lesley Bird, COO at Birds Bakery, said: “At Birds, we take the safety of our staff and customers very seriously – and have very strict procedures in place during this pandemic.
“A large portion of our clientele is made up of older people – many of whom are vulnerable – and it is our responsibility to ensure their safety, as well as our staff.
“Like many other grocery stores, during this pandemic we have asked customers to only use debit cards because the bills and coins are not clean – and this poses a risk to our staff who manage This money.
“In Megan Metcalfe’s case, she would take cash from customers and then make payments with her own card.
“This contravenes our current health and safety policy on Covid-19 and is also against company regulations.
“It was with regret that we had to ask Megan to leave the company because of these two issues. “