The bank says that the work being done by staff in the Sunderland Contact Centre is essential for the future of the bank but then in the same breath puts the health and safety of staff at risk because of its shoddy approach to dealing with COVID-19. It’s a litany of failure and mismanagement the likes of which you would expect from some back street sweatshop and not a major retail bank.
- Family members of two staff working in the Sunderland Contact Centre contracted the virus and all are now self-isolating. Those two members of staff would have been at work in the contact centre immediately prior to going into isolation. We know from organisations like the World Health Organisation that the virus can be spread through individuals touching objects and surfaces that have been infected and then touching their eyes, nose and mouth. It is said that the virus can remain on some surfaces for up to 3 days. Staff were rightly concerned about catching the virus but instead of closing the site and instigating a deep clean, TSB has done nothing.
- It gets worse, those staff who raised their concerns have been ignored and been told to carry on as if nothing had happened. That’s unacceptable. TSB should immediately clean the whole of the building properly from top to bottom.
- It would appear that the social distancing rules don’t apply in Sunderland. Not all of the desks are 2m apart. Team Managers are expected to deal with some of the queries raised by staff and in many cases that involves leaning over to view screens which itself breaches the social distancing rules. TSB needs to change its current approach and put in place policies that protect all members of staff.
- TSB should be looking at the jobs in the contact centre that can be done at home. The technology is there to allow many more staff to work from home but it’s not being taken advantage of for some reason. It seems to us having spoken to lots of members that some jobs are not essential and could quite easily be left for a few weeks: the bank would then need to be more creative about those jobs that were left. We would expect to see significantly more TSB staff working from home over the next few weeks. This is going to be more important because there are at least 100 staff who are due to come back to work following self-isolation. And the bank appears not to be checking whether it’s safe for those staff to come back to work, it’s simply demanding they return to work after 7 days.
- Basic hygiene in the contact centre is said to be non-existent. The toilet facilities are not being adequately or regularly cleaned and there are no paper towels. All staff in Sunderland should have their own sanitiser to enable them to regularly wash their hands whilst sat at their desks.
Members in Sunderland with any further issues they would like us to deal with should contact the Union’s Advice Team on 01234 716029 (choose Option 1).