Tesco has told its employees over the age of 70 that they do not need to attend work for the next 12 weeks due to the Coronavirus pandemic and added that they will be fully paid for their time off.
The supermarket chain has confirmed the measure following government guidance that people over 70 should remain indoors due to their increased risk of serious symptoms from the COVID-19 infection.
It’s a worrying time for employees and businesses as much of the UK is now self isolating – however, the pressures of working in a supermarket have increased due to increased incidences of panic buying, which is leaving shelves empty.
Social media users have praised Tesco for the initiative to align with the guidance around the elderly, particularly as they will be paid – although two out of the 12 weeks willbe logged as holiday
The measures also apply to pregnant staff and those particularly vulnerable to the virus, with bosses telling those involved: ‘These colleagues will not be required to attend work for the next 12 weeks. This absence from work will be fully paid, with two of the 12 weeks coded as holiday.’
The internal memo Chief People Officer, Natasha Adams, said: ‘The uncertainty that coronavirus has brought is a concern for us but one of our main priorities is giving our colleagues all the support we can.
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‘We have made a number of decisions, to make sure you are able to look after yourselves and your families at this time. Above all please take care of yourself and others and ask for support if needed.’
On vulnerable staff, she added: ‘We are putting in place measures to support colleagues who are over 70, vulnerable or pregnant, for whom we know from NHS guidance, Coronavirus could be a greater risk.
‘In line with government guidelines, these colleagues will not be required to attend work for the next 12 weeks. This absence from work will be fully paid, with two of the 12 weeks coded as holiday.’
Supermarkets across the country have been unable to cope with the sharp increase in demand, leaving many shoppers unable to buy basic foods.
A video of NHS nurse, Dawn Bilbrough from York, has gone viral. It shows her tearfully begging people to stop stockpiling and hoarding food from supermarkets as she was unable to find food she needed after a 48 hour shift.
Earlier this week, Sainsbury’s announced that customers will now only be able purchase buy three of any grocery product, and a maximum of two of the most popular items, such as toilet paper, soap and long-life milk.
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