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07th Dec 2021

Sports Direct staff self-isolating with covid told to go into work

Charlie Herbert

Self-isolating Sports Direct staff told to come into work

Workers at two Sports Direct stores say staff were forced to come in instead of self-isolating

Staff at Sports Direct were allegedly made to come into work when they should have been self-isolating, resulting in others catching covid-19.

A former sales assistant at a Sports Direct store in Harringey, east London, told the Mirror that there have been several cases of staff being told to to come in to work at the branch rather than self-isolate.

The anonymous worker said: “I want to address and make it known how people’s’ health is being disregarded and how they are being treated, especially with the circumstances of coronavirus and the pandemic.”

One member of staff was apparently told to come into work despite having contact with their mother, who had tested positive for covid-19.

In a WhatsApp conversation, the worker told their boss that their mother had taken a positive lateral flow test and was waiting for a PCR result – but they were told to come into work the next day anyway.

Government regulations at the time said that people should self-isolate if they live with someone who has tested positive for covid or if they are alerted by the test and trace app.

The worker in question was later told by the app that they should self-isolate.

In another example from the same Sports Direct branch, a member of staff apparently tested positive at 5pm on July 20 after developing symptoms at work but was told to keep working because they had experience of closing the store.

And in a third case, a worker was apparently on their way to work in September 2021 when she found out a friend she’d seen recently had covid. When she rang her manager to alert them, they were told to come in anyway and just wear a mask and follow social distancing at work.

According to the Mirror, similar instances took place at the Sports Direct store in Oxford Street, London.

In one case, a staff member was told to come into work by his manager despite his girlfriend testing positive – and him providing pictures of the positive tests – before testing positive three days later.

Over the following fortnight 12 workers at the store reportedly also tested positive.

A spokesperson for Frasers Group, which owns Sports Direct, said: “Frasers Group plc takes allegations like this very seriously and investigates all such grievances through the appropriate channels.

“The health and wellbeing of our colleagues is our top priority, as is following all Covid-19 rules and regulations.”

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