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Tesco Apologises After Shelf Stacker Lost Job Because He Had To Self-Isolate

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Tesco Apologises After Shelf Stacker Lost Job Because He Had To Self-Isolate

Tesco has apologised as a shelf-stacker was sacked after he needed to self-isolate.

Dominic Clark had only worked three shifts at Tesco Extra Gallows Corner in Romford, Essex, when he was told he needed to isolate for two weeks.

But less than a week into his isolation, the 24-year-old received a letter informing him that he had been relieved of his position because they needed 'committed' staff during a busy period.

In the Tesco-headed letter, a night shift manager wrote: "Dear Dominic, I am writing to confirm the end of your temporary contract with Tesco Stores Ltd.

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"Your last working day with us will be 30 November, 2020.

"You have not attended work since 23 November due to self-isolation.

"Currently, we are in a busy period in our sales calendar, and we need everyone's support and commitment to the shifts they are contracted and rota'd [sic] for.

"You are more than welcome to re-apply for another temporary festive role after your isolation period.

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Dominic was sacked less than a week into his two-week self-isolation. Credit: Kennedy News and Media
Dominic was sacked less than a week into his two-week self-isolation. Credit: Kennedy News and Media

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the contribution you have made whilst in our employment and to wish you good luck for your future."

Dominic says he believes this kind of approach could encourage other employees to ignore the Test and Trace advice for fear that they might also get sacked.

He said: "It's crazy to me that you try and do the right thing and get penalised for it.

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"I'd like to think people would still do the right thing, but by doing this to me, Tesco set a bit of a precedent. It's in a sense of 'what we don't know won't hurt us'."

After a difficult year, Dominic was over the moon to secure work in mid-November after such a tough time of it due to the global pandemic.

But shortly after he finished training, he was forced to self-isolate after a member of his household tested positive for Covid-19.

Dominic said: "I phoned my boss, told him, 'Look, someone in my household has tested positive,' and he said, 'Okay, I'll get back to you with our policy [for] when you can come back to work.'

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The letter informing him of his dismissal was dated the day after he informed them of the need to self-isolate. Credit: Kennedy News and Media
The letter informing him of his dismissal was dated the day after he informed them of the need to self-isolate. Credit: Kennedy News and Media

"Then I got a letter half way through my isolation telling me my contract had been terminated.

"It was a two-week isolation period and I got the letter half way through that. The letter was dated to the day after I called [22 November].

"I'd just been given my shift patterns which were Monday to Friday and I'd worked the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, I believe."

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Dominic says he has tried to get in touch with Tesco's third-party human resources line several times in the last three weeks but that he has not been contacted by Tesco.

He now wants to share his story in the hope it will protect others like him from losing their jobs or being forced to continue to work when they should be isolating.

Dominic said: "I'm in the process of trying to get it reviewed by Tesco but my posts on social media were a last resort.

"Tesco have a colleague care line and I spoke to someone there. They put me on to [the HR system] and from what I can gather, they're an independent company who work with other companies.

"I've been calling them for the last week and it sounds like Tesco just aren't responding to them."

Tesco has since confirmed that self-isolating staff should be paid 'from day one' and that it is now 'investigating' the incident.

A spokesperson for the chain said: "Our policy is to pay all colleagues who are self-isolating from day one. We are investigating how this happened and have reached out to Dominic to apologise and discuss this further."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: UK News, Coronavirus, Tesco, Health, Covid-19

Dominic Smithers
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