Nicola Sturgeon has said anyone who is being pressured to break coronavirus rules by their employer can report the “dangerous behaviour” directly to her.
The First Minister was told by Scottish Green co-leader Patrick Harvie of a report that a “well-known chain pub” forced a staff member to continue working with Covid-19 symptoms until they received their positive test result.
Ms Sturgeon said such behaviour would be “completely and utterly irresponsible”, and anyone affected could email her directly so action can be taken.
Describing the anecdotal account of a pub worker, Mr Harvie said the company would not allow her to self-isolate despite displaying symptoms and having taken a coronavirus test.
Colleagues who worked with the infected, symptomatic staff member “were not only told to keep working but were moved around the chain’s other pubs because of short staffing”, Mr Harvie said.
Speaking at FMQs, he also said people had been told not to install the Protect Scotland contact tracing app and others who are actively discouraged from self-isolating.
In response, Ms Sturgeon said: “Any business that was behaving in that way is risking making the situation worse, and risking restrictions having to be in place for longer, risking the health and safety of the workers and the wider community, and making the impact on businesses more severe and longer lasting.
“It would be completely and utterly irresponsible for any business to behave in that way and I would appeal to businesses – in the interest of themselves and the wider country – to abide by all of the rules and support their staff fully to do so as well.”
Ms Sturgeon continued: “To workers across the country: if you are being put under pressure by an employer to act in any of these ways, get in touch with your local MSP, get in touch with the local environmental health office, email me directly.
“Because that would be dangerous behaviour that we would take steps to ensure it is addressed fully and promptly.”
The First Minister also explained that local authorities have been given powers during the pandemic to take enforcement action against premises that were found to be increasing the risk of coronavirus transmission.
Punishments available to councils include being able to impose further restrictions on a business or to shut it down, Ms Sturgeon said.
She added that the government would consider an extension of their powers if it was deemed necessary.
Ms Sturgeon can be contacted by emailing: email@example.com, while MSPs’ contact details can be found on the Scottish Parliament website and environmental health officer details are available through council websites.
Enjoy the convenience of having The Sunday Post delivered as a digital ePaper straight to your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Subscribe for only £5.49 a month and enjoy all the benefits of the printed paper as a digital replica.Subscribe