Tesco worker is SACKED from temporary job 'for self-isolating'

Tesco shelf stacker, 24, is SACKED from his temporary Christmas job ‘because he was forced to self-isolate for two weeks’

  • Dominic Clark had secured a temporary Christmas shelf stacking job at Tesco
  • He was told to self isolate after member of his household tested positive for virus
  • The 24-year-old told manager at Tesco Extra Gallows Corner in Romford, Essex
  • But he was sacked in a letter, leading the supermarket giant to apologise to him

A shelf stacker sacked from Tesco because he had to self-isolate has said he fears his job loss will lead other supermarket workers to ignore Test and Trace alerts. 

Supermarket giant Tesco have been forced to apologise after Dominic Clark was sacked from his temporary festive contract.

Dominic had only worked three shifts at Tesco Extra Gallows Corner in Romford, Essex, when he was told he needed to isolate for two weeks.

The 24-year-old claims he called his employers to inform them of the news, but less than a week later, was sent a letter confirming ‘the end of [his] temporary contract’.

Dominic believes the supermarket giant’s action could encourage other staff to ignore Test and Trace advice for fear of losing their jobs.

Tesco have since apologised to Dominic and confirmed they are ‘investigating how this happened’ and were speaking to the store to ensure it does not happen again.

Dominic Clark, 24, (pictured) started working at the Tesco Extra Gallows Corner in Romford, Essex, on a temporary festive contract

In the Tesco-headed letter, a night shift manager wrote: ‘Dear Dominic, I am writing to confirm the end of your temporary contract with Tesco Stores Ltd.

‘Your last working day with us will be 30 November, 2020.

‘You have not attended work since 23 November due to self-isolation.

‘Currently, we are in a busy period in our sales calendar, and we need everyone’s support and commitment to the shifts they are contracted and rota’d [sic] for.

‘You are more than welcome to re-apply for another temporary festive role after your isolation period.

‘I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the contribution you have made whilst in our employment and to wish you good luck for your future.’

But after being told to self isolate when someone in his household tested positive for the virus, he recieved a letter (pictured) terminating his employment

Tesco have apologised to Dominic and say they are investigating the incident at the Tesco Extra Gallows Corner in Romford, Essex, (pictured) so it does not happen again

Dominic, from Romford, Essex, said: ‘It’s crazy to me that you try and do the right thing and get penalised for it.

‘If I had risked it and given it to my colleagues, I’d be in this position again.

‘If I hadn’t said anything, I could still have been working. I could have endangered life and become really ill myself.

‘I didn’t have symptoms but I couldn’t be sure. I didn’t want to risk it.

‘I’d like to think people would still do the right thing, but by doing this to me, Tesco set a bit of a precedent. It’s in a sense of ‘what we don’t know won’t hurt us’.

‘It’s the principle of it all. If people let them get away with it, they’ll just keep doing it.’

Dominic had been relieved to secure work in mid-November after a worrying time in 2020 with little work.

But soon after he finished training, he was forced to self-isolate after a member of his household tested positive for covid-19.

Dominic said: ‘I joined in mid-November, did my training and a couple of shifts, then someone I live with tested positive.

The supermarket has since apologised to Dominic after he reached out to them on Facebook 

‘Obviously the government tells you to self-isolate, all the test and trace stuff tells you to self-isolate, which I did.

‘I phoned my boss and told him… and he said: “Okay, I’ll get back to you with our policy [for] when you can come back to work”.

‘Then I got a letter half way through my isolation telling me my contract had been terminated. The letter was dated to the day after I called [November 22].’ 

It was a tough blow for Dominic who normally works in events and says being stuck inside and struggling to find work since March has left him feeling low and ‘without purpose’.  

‘It’s tough,’ he said. ‘Getting a job was about getting out and having something to keep me occupied.

‘It’s not right. It’s setting the wrong precedent for employees.’

The supermarket has since apologised to Dominic and said ‘Our policy is to pay all colleagues who are self-isolating from day one’

Dominic’s pleas to Tesco come in the same week a Morrisons member of staff passed away with coronavirus and it is believed other colleagues also tested positive.

He claims he has called Tesco’s third-party human resources line several times in the last three weeks but Tesco have not responded to their request for details.

Dominic then reached out to the supermarket on Facebook as a ‘last resort’.

He hopes by sharing what happened to him, he will get his manager’s decision overturned. 

Dominic said: ‘I’m in the process of trying to get it reviewed by Tesco but my posts on social media were a last resort.

‘I’ve gone through their HR system. Tesco have a colleague care line and I spoke to someone there.

‘They put me on to [the HR system] and from what I can gather, they’re an independent company who work with other companies.

‘I’ve been calling them for the last week and it sounds like Tesco just aren’t responding to them.

‘I’ve called them just over two weeks ago. They said: “You should hear in two weeks”, so I rang them end of last week in case but Tesco hadn’t responded or given any feedback yet.

‘I rang them yesterday, which would have been two weeks, and again, no feedback.

‘I tried to ring the actual store yesterday and I found it quite comical because [a senior member of staff] is off work for two weeks in a similar circumstance to me.’  

Tesco confirmed they were ‘investigating’ the incident and said self-isolating staff were to be paid ‘from day one’.

A Tesco spokesman said: ‘Our policy is to pay all colleagues who are self-isolating from day one. 

‘We are investigating how this happened and have reached out to Dominic to apologise and discuss this further.’ 

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