Capita hits back at claims work arrangements do not follow Government advice

An outsourcing firm has hit back at claims it is not following Government guidelines to tackle coronavirus by having staff remain working its sites.

Capita runs call centres across the country with its Glasgow and Leeds offices coming under fire with complaints to local MPs Alison Thewliss and Hilary Benn.

A letter on social media indicated staff were being designated as key workers – making it necessary to continue working from the office.

But this has been denied by the company who say “most staff” are working from home and those who cannot are “providing essential services as defined by the Government”.

A Capita spokesman told the PA news agency: “The top priority of Capita at this very difficult time is the wellbeing of our people.

“Many of our employees work for clients in sectors including utilities, telecommunications and financial services, who continue to need services in these challenging times.

“We have made arrangements for as many of our colleagues to work from home as possible, and have been increasing our capacity to support remote working every day.

“Where homeworking is not possible, we are making adjustments in our workplaces to ensure that we are following all Government guidelines, including on social distancing and handwashing.

“We are constantly reviewing our practices as government guidance changes.”

The Glasgow office at the Skypark business centre can house around 500 members of staff.

Among its contracts, Capita supports NHS call centres in parts of the country as well as telecomms which has been classed as an essential service.

The spokesman maintained they were not breaching Government guidelines, had additional hand sanitiser and were carrying out full site cleans of the office twice a day.

But Ms Thewliss, SNP MP for Glasgow Central, again said it was contrary to what staff have told her.

Alison Thewliss
Alison Thewliss

She told PA: “I have heard that staff are working in conditions where social distancing rules are not being observed, there is a reported lack of hand sanitiser, and that people are being asked to go on statutory sick pay if they need to self isolate.

“I have heard from others in similar roles in a range of companies in Glasgow city centre.

“This is completely unacceptable, and staff are being put at risk.

“I call on all of these firms to take heed of Government advice and to put the health and of employees and their families before their profits.

“I would definitely like to emphasise that there are lots of companies in lots of sectors taking actions which put their employees at risk.

“They all need to stop this now.”