'Major outbreak' fears at Lloyds call centre in Newport as staff describe lack of Covid safety procedures

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There are 'major outbreak' fears at a Lloyds call centre in Newport as staff have described a lack of Covid safety procedures.

A call centre worker in Newport, who wished to remain anonymous, raised concerns after staff on the same floor as other workers who had tested positive for Covid-19 were moved to non-infected floors with other staff.The worker also claimed that staff contacted by Track and Trace and told to self-isolate were not being asked to provide NHS isolation notes.They said they were concerned that the company was therefore unable keep track of how many staff were being potentially infected.The worker also claimed that 13 staff at the call centre had tested positive for the virus, with one person having died.

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The company has not confirmed or denied the number of cases, but said the "health and wellbeing of colleagues and customers is our priority."The worker said: "Office staff are high risk and I strongly feel, along with many staff I've spoken to, that when an outbreak is determined that the staff be isolated or sent home, not mixed with existing staff due to apparently space issues.

"We are looking at a major outbreak unless further actions are implemented."The staff member said that when asked about why staff were being moved between floors, they were told it was due to 'space issues.'However, they said they didn't understand this as they believed only around 100 of the call centre's 1,000 staff are currently on site.

They have since flagged their concerns with local representatives in Newport.

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John Griffiths MS, Labour, Newport East, said: "Concerns have been raised with my office and I by a constituent about the situation at Lloyds."We have since contacted Newport City Council and Trading Standards and asked them to look into this."All employers in Newport and across Wales should be taking reasonable steps to minimise the risk of exposure to Covid-19. It’s important this issue is addressed as a matter of priority so staff can feel safe in going about their work."

A Lloyds Banking Group spokesperson said: "The health and wellbeing of colleagues and customers is our priority and we are following government advice to ensure everyone remains safe."We’re adhering to social distancing in our offices, all buildings are subject to enhanced cleaning and, where colleagues do need to self-isolate, this is being done in line with UK and Welsh Government guidelines."Since the beginning of the pandemic, Lloyds says it has implemented enhanced cleaning regimes and increased reminders to staff members about hand washing and the use of hand sanitiser provided.