Waitrose supermarket makes swift coronavirus policy U-turn
Waitrose has rowed back on its COVID-19 self-isolation policy for staff, after fears supermarket workers would come in to avoid having to make up time off.
Initially, workers self-isolating with a family member showing symptoms from the novel coronavirus outbreak would have had to make up a maximum of two weeks’ worth of work unpaid. As an anonymous Waitrose worker told the BBC: “Someone on a 35-hour contract would have to work an extra 70 hours if they had two weeks in isolation.” Having “already” been paid for the work, it would have been the equivalent of working 70 hours unpaid.
Waitrose has now confirmed that “Partners who are self isolating without symptoms and unable to work from home will no longer be required to ‘time bank’ any of their time [...] Instead they will be on authorised paid absence from day one.”
And in other news...
- As Carluccio’s files for administration and the owners of Gourmet Burger Kitchen withhold funding, restaurant chains face a “drastic Darwinian environment” in the wake of COVID-19. [Financial Times/Paywall]
- An anomaly in the government’s rateable value coronavirus grant scheme will see over 3,000 businesses be underfunded. [Big Hospitality]
- Leon is introducing a new, four-strong delivery box service to further bridge the gap between suppliers and consumers. All profits will go to its FeedNHS initiative.
- Food delivery workers’ union Riders’ Roovolt has developed a six-point plan for diners ordering from restaurants to support the riders. Deliveroo’s workers have previously said that its coronavirus fund is too complex to access.
- U.K. and Scottish governments have offered seafood processors and food redistribution companies financial aid to minimise food waste and allow surpluses to be used effectively. [Food Manufacture]
- British Gas will partner with food charity the Trussell Trust to deliver food parcels to vulnerable people and those self-isolating for 12 weeks. [Bucks Free Press]
- The novel coronavirus outbreak caused a massive £2 billion upturn in supermarket revenue in March, with Iceland seeing a 250 percent increase in delivery capacity to deal with demand. [Today Programme]
pausing for a quick break during my daily jog and getting instantly noscoped by a sniper perched atop a nearby shuttered nandos— thom (@thwphipps) April 5, 2020