STAFF who were employed by a call centre which was stripped of a Covid-19 government contract over alleged social distancing breaches are furious that bosses have reneged on an agreement to pay workers notice.

AGO Outsourcing, based in East Kilbride, was sub-contracted by Serco on behalf of the UK government to support those shielding down south and assist with medicine and food deliveries.

However the firm lost its  contract with the 200 National Shielding Helpline after pictures emerged which appeared to show staff sitting less than two metres apart.

One former employee says that when staff were told they were losing their jobs, the company pledged to give workers a “goodwill” notice period of two weekends full pay which he claims amounts to £400 for him.

An email seen by the Glasgow Times from Steven Joseph, Chief Operations Manager, says staff will receive their “final salary for any hours worked, holidays accrued and any notice applicable.”

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However, in a subsequent message to staff Mr Joseph tells employees they will not be receiving any notice payment.

It reads: “Unfortunately the client cancelled the contract with immediate effect and we did not receive any notice period, therefore we cannot (give) employees the intended notice.”

One staff member said: “In a variety of communications by the company, including the HR Manager and Senior Operations Manager, we were promised full pay for two weekends of work due to the abrupt nature of the termination.

“When we were issued with our payslips none of that was reflected.

“”We have not received this pay and have now been told, after I made a direct communication, that we will not receive it.

“Not only has there been a complete disregard to the safety of their workers amidst a worldwide pandemic, they are now trying to dodge paying their employees what we are due.

“The contract was advertised as a minimum of 12 weeks and now people are unlikely to have received any more than two weeks pay.”

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The Glasgow Times contacted AGO Outsourcing and was told to send our questions to Mr Joseph via email. However he did not respond.

Call centre employees are said to have been asked to sign a disclaimer if they got sick, absolving the company of any blame.

An insider claimed “multiple people” had complained about working conditions, but many signed the waiver because they needed cash.

However, boss Stephen Rafferty said the letter had been penned after legal advice and was in accordance with Scottish Government working guidelines.

The firm is jointly owned by Kris McGenily and has previously been contracted on behalf of Scottish Power.