M&S sandwich makers threatened with pay dock if they self-isolated

M&S Marks & Spencer covid-19
Workers at Greencore factory in Northampton, where M&S sandwiches are prepared, found it difficult to comply due to sick pay warning
// Marks & Spencer workers at a sandwich supplier were told they would be paid less if they self-isolated due to Covid-19
// The Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union said statutory sick pay does not support people

Workers at one of Marks & Spencer’s sandwich suppliers were reportedly told they would be paid less than £100 per week if they self-isolated, following a major coronavirus outbreak.

Greencore factory workers in Northampton, who are responsible for preparing M&S sandwiches, found it difficult to comply due to sick pay warning, according to the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union which represents staff at the site.

Executives at Greencore said that many staff were entitled to no more than the statutory sick pay rate of £95.85 if they followed instructions to self-isolate, The Guardian reported.


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The Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union national president Ian Hodson said statutory sick pay does not support people and during the pandemic, people cannot survive on £95 per week.

Hodson added that the policy of only paying statutory sick pay applied to many people who are on minimum wage.

On Friday, news broke out that 292 people working at the Greencore site had tested positive for Covid-19.

Greencore said it had taken the decision to proactively test staff after cases emerged in the East Midlands town.

Northamptonshire county council said 79 people returned positive NHS tests and a further 213 tested positive through the firm’s private testing.

Greencore employs more than 2000 people and said that in the event that colleagues have had to self-isolate, they have continued to be paid in line with the terms of their contract.

This ranges from full pay to statutory sick pay, depending on the type of contract.

The factory said its site offers wide-ranging social-distancing measures, stringent hygiene procedures and regular temperature checking.

The news emerged after a similar outbreak at an Asda-owned meat processing site in West Yorkshire, where 165 employees had tested positive for the virus in June.

Retail Gazette has contacted M&S for comment.

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