A POPULAR sportswear brand has been accused of putting staff in danger following an outbreak of Covid-19 at a Glasgow store.

Cases of the virus were recorded in JD Sports at the city’s Fort shopping centre between December 26-29.

The Glasgow Times has also learned of claims that branches were asked by senior managers to remove in/out and customer capacity count signs - safety measures in place to control the spread of the virus however these are not legally necessary.

The company has denied these claims, however the Glasgow Times has obtained an e-mail appearing to be from a member of senior staff saying that capacity counts should be removed and there should be no in/out signs on entrances and exits to and from the store.

Whistleblowers also claim that staff have been expected to be at work to fulfill online orders which they do not believe is essential retail.

A source who asked not to be named said: “I am being forced to come into work despite being in a national lockdown, although only being contracted as a sales assistant I am being told I am expected to travel into work to pick online orders.”

Stores have been closed to the general public and there is no click and collect service in operation, but JD Sports ship from store is within Scottish and UK Government rules.

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A spokeswoman for JD Sports said: “Throughout the pandemic, the health and wellbeing of our colleagues and customers have always remained our highest priority. We continue to follow the latest government guidelines and have in place all appropriate measures to ensure that our colleagues who are not on furlough can continue to work safely across our operations.”

Dave Moxham at the Scottish Trade Union Congress (STUC) has revealed the body has been “inundated” with reports from workers being asked to attend work.

He said: “Since the new lockdown announcement by Nicola Sturgeon on Monday, the STUC has been inundated by reports from workers of employers bending the rules to stay open.

“Employers need to put health and safety first. With the furlough scheme available, forcing workers in non-essential workplaces to attend work shows contempt for their own workforce as well as the wider public.

“We’d encourage all workers who are being pressured to attend non-essential workplaces to get together in a whatsapp group and contact the STUC for advice.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon urged businesses who are asking staff to come into work to reconsider.

In yesterday’s daily briefing she said: “I want to stress again the need for all companies to do as much as they possibly can.

“In particular, they should only be asking people to come into work, if it is for work that cannot possibly be done from home - and if it is for work that is genuinely essential.

“The bottom line here – and I need to be really blunt about this – is that for this lockdown to be as effective as we need it to be, we must radically reduce the number of interactions we are having. That means reducing to a minimum the reasons people are required to leave their home.

“If we need to require more non-essential activity to close in order to achieve this we will have to do that. That’s a matter of ongoing review by the Scottish Government right now. However, businesses can help now by limiting as far as possible the numbers of workers they are asking to leave their homes and I am asking them again to do so.”

Is your employer asking you to come to work despite new guidelines urging people to work from home ?Contact lauren.gilmour@newsquest.co.uk