Next is asking its staff to travel to its shuttered stores and pick clothes for online orders, according to a letter seen by the PA news agency, and is offering them a 20% bonus for doing so.
Here is the full text of the letter:
We fully understand that many of you have great concerns about attending work. Please let me reassure you that we are in no circumstances going to ask anyone who is unsure about coming to work to do so.
We desperately need your support to keep the company operating and we hugely appreciate your help in this. If there are any reasons why you personally feel that it is not appropriate for you to work we will be understanding. For example if you are caring for a vulnerable person at your home, if you cannot manage your childcare, if you cannot travel safely to work, or any other reason.
We need to keep the online business functioning to be certain that Next emerges from this short-term crisis. To help us, we are looking for a small number of staff to attend work to pick and process the stock in our stores that customers have purchased online and keep the online business going. We will only look to achieve this on a voluntary basis.
Our online business remains open, with all home deliveries and returns now free. We are making every effort to deliver any uncollected parcels in store to the main billing address on your account.
— Next (@nextofficial) March 23, 2020
We would like volunteers to work on Thursday and/or Friday this week to pick and process the stock we have sold in the online sale. We will only need staff to work between the hours of 9am and 6pm. We will be as flexible as we can to accommodate the hours that suit you e.g. 10am to 3pm.
Next Week Onwards.
We would like volunteers to work for two days each week anytime between the hours of 9am and 6pm. Again we will be as flexible as we can to accommodate the hours that suit you e.g. 10am to 3pm.
Your safety is vital to us, our aim is to fully protect you at work, and we have put in place the points below to keep you safe and healthy.
To enable, ensure and enforce social distancing between you and your colleagues.
To disinfect all equipment you use before and after use and every time a new user handles a device.
To enable and enforce hand washing procedures in line with our previous guidelines.
To organise our processes so items are only touched by one person.
To limit the number of people in store to one person to 1,000 square feet of space.
To show our appreciation, if you attend work you will be paid an additional 20% of your basic rate of pay for all hours worked until Saturday 11th April.
Please use your store Yapster group to contact your store manager if you can come to work. Please let your store manager know the following:
Your availability to work Thursday and/or Friday this week and the times you can work, if you can let them know by 10am tomorrow (Wednesday 25th March) that would be great.
The days you are available to work from next week onwards, including the times you can work (Monday to Friday only), if you could let them know by midday tomorrow (Wednesday 25th March) that would be great.
We know that many of you will face the challenges of keeping your family safe and well and that must be your priority.
Thank-you for your support and take care.