Employees of non-essential businesses have complained they are being put at risk as confusion over government guidelines continues to affect workers across Tayside and Fife.
Staff at House of Bruar, Core Products in Perth and Glenrothes and Standard Aero at Almondbank, raised concerns that they were expected to attend work despite not being employed in key roles.
However bosses insist they are following guidelines which allow staff in online and warehouse distribution centres to continue working as long as they practise social distancing.
Employees at House of Bruar are working in two separate warehouses at the Highland Perthshire outlet, one providing food and the other dealing with online clothes orders.
One employee at the clothing warehouse told The Courier: “They need to realise that we are not key.
“It is negligent of the staff’s wellbeing. There is uproar among staff that they are still being made to go in.”
Patrick Birkbeck, managing director of House of Bruar, said the government was not only promoting online retail but encouraging it.
Mr Birkbeck said: “I’m very comfortable that what we are doing is within the guidelines.
“Really what we’ve got is part of our business which the government is trying to encourage and promote.
“We can’t pack boxes from home – you need to come to work to do it.”
An employee of Standard Aero said: “The site carries out work for the Ministry Of Defence, however this is only a small portion of the site.
“The staff are very angry and feel the company has put making money ahead of the health and wellness of their families.”
Standard Aero, which is based in Arizona, said it was following UK guidelines.
A spokesperson said: “Our local leadership team has spoken to our staff and we have advised all employees that if anyone is uncomfortable with the situation to stop working immediately and speak to their line manager.
“No employee is to continue working if they believe it is unsafe to do so.”
Furniture warehouse Core Products said it would be putting warehouse staff on furlough from Wednesday after employees raised concerns.
Mary Wallace, director, said: “The government continues to encourage people to order online – what is the purpose of that if all storage and distribution companies like ourselves close the door.
“We have however as a company decided to close the warehouse and put all our staff on furloughed employment from April 1.”
A spokesperson for the Scottish Government said: “All individuals and businesses that are not being specifically required to close should consider a key set of questions– and at all times work on the precautionary basis:
“Is what you do essential or material to the effort against the virus or to the wellbeing of society? If so, can your staff work from home? If not, can you practise safe social distancing and comply with ALL other standard health and safety requirements?”
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