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Coronavirus outbreak are expected to survive on just £94 a week

LIDL staff self-isolating because of the Coronavirus outbreak are expected to survive on just £94 a week

GMB, the union for Lidl workers, has renewed its calls for the supermarket giant to guarantee full pay for COVID19 related absences to ensure that hard-pressed, self-isolating workers are able to afford to take time off and not risk spreading the deadly virus. 

The union argues that the company should use its increased profits from last year, a period in which Lidl saw its share of supermarket sales rise by almost 8%.[1] The retailers profits are expected to rise again after the UK government asked all non-essential workers to work from home and move towards social distancing, seeing the retailer hire an extra 2500 staff to meet demand. [2]

GMB argues that Lidl employees are now providing a vital service over recent weeks for the country and that the retailer should review the sickness policy and put in place full pay for those people who need it, including paying retrospectively to those who have already had time off due to the virus.

However, in a short response to the union on Thursday, they refused to commit to guaranteeing full pay for workers. 

Lorraine Gaskell, GMB organiser for Lidl said :

“The issue is that if you need the income, you’re more likely to ignore the symptoms and take risks on heading into work. Lidl’s sick policy is woefully inadequate and simply not good enough in a time of national crisis.

“Beating COVID has to be top of all our priorities right now, and we need to ensure that sick staff can take time out and not put others at risk for the sake of a wage packet.

“Last year Lidl saw its share of supermarket sales rise by almost 8%, and in recent weeks they’ve hired an extra 2500 staff to meet demand. It can only be right that they use some of those increased profits to help stop the spread of Coronavirus, ​and to recognise the hard work of their loyal employees at this worrying time. 

“Otherwise it looks quite plain and simple, that they value their profits more than the value beating COVID19.”

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