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Call centres urged to improve working conditions

Staff are working closely together

A third of call centre workers are still required to work despite not being essential workers and employers are not implementing social distancing, says the SNP.

The party has now called for call centres to assess their working conditions.

Preliminary interim results of a survey completed by Scottish academic and call centre expert Professor Philip Taylor, reveals high levels of fear and mistrust in call centres in Scotland and across the UK.

Key findings include: almost 60% of workers are still working having been designated as essential by their employer, with only 17.9% of those believing they are essential; 50% state they are working face-to-face with a co-worker; and, only a third of workers report that their employer is successfully implementing workplace distancing.

The SNP’s Fair Work and Employment spokesperson, Chris Stephens MP said: “Many call centre workers are essential, providing important services to keep the world turning.

“However, many others are not and should either be working from home or if that is not possible, then they should be furloughed.

“It is the responsibility of employers to determine who is essential, using government guidance, furlough people or make provisions for people to work from home where possible.

“For those who are essential in call centres, and who do need to go into their place of work, then employers must ensure social distancing is implemented to reduce the risk to workers and the wider public.

“I am urging call centres in Scotland and across the UK – including UK government departments and their contractors – to assess their working conditions and determine who really is essential without delay.

“Employers who are still forcing employees – including employees deemed to be at risk – to come in unnecessarily must take action immediately to protect and support staff.”

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