Ikea sends home 73 workers after Covid outbreak

Ikea sends home 73 workers after Covid outbreak


The Ikea store in Reading

Thirteen members of staff at the Ikea store have tested positive (Picture: Getty Images)

An Ikea has had to send home 73 workers following a coronavirus outbreak among staff.

Thirteen employees from the store in Reading, Berkshire, have tested positive for the virus. They are now also self-isolating while they recover, and other workers have been sent home.

Although Ikea’s shop floor is currently closed amid England’s lockdown, customers can still use their click and collect service and pick up items in-store.

Kim Chin-Sung, IKEA Reading Market manager, said: ‘The health and safety of our customers and co-workers is our top priority.

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‘We have extremely robust safety measures in place, including social distancing, protective screens and additional regular cleaning. On Saturday, we were made aware that a co-worker had tested positive for Covid-19.

‘Shortly after this, other co-workers began receiving alerts from the NHS Track and Trace System in the normal way, and were immediately sent home to self-isolate on full pay.’

The store previously saw large queues before it was forced to close the shop floor amid lockdown (Picture: Getty Images)

Ms Chin-Sung also denied claims that some staff were not being allowed to self-isolate. One employee told Berkshire Live that employees ‘still had to work’ despite their colleagues testing positive for the virus.

They claimed: ‘Some workers have worked with those affected and by rights should be isolating but they are told they are not allowed.’

Ms Chin-Sung said: ‘No co-workers are being forced to work and those who can work or learn from home, are being asked to do so.

‘Should any co-worker be concerned, we ask them to speak directly to their line manager. We are monitoring and managing the situation in accordance with our usual stringent processes and Government guidelines.’

The store will continue to fulfil click and collect orders with a significantly reduced team on-site, she added.

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2020-11-18 11:27:00

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