Darlington and Doxford, UK, April 20, 2020 -- Empoyees at a telecommunications call centre have spoken out against the company’s coronavirus measures after claiming "very little has changed".
Employees in EE’s Darlington and Doxford contact centres are unhappy with current cleanliness and working conditions.
One employee, who has worked for the company for more than ten years and wants to remain anonymous, said staff had still been hot desking – whereby any desk that is empty can be used – until recently, with surfaces not being cleaned between shifts.
"Desks were not cleaned between shifts unless we did this ourselves with cleaning materials brought from home," said the worker. "Hand sanitiser dispensers are empty. It’s been over a week and I have seen one bottle, that is a quarter full."
While social distancing measures have improved, after employees "insisted", there are "floorwalkers" who drift between staff and touch multiple computers, said the worker.
EE has increased general cleaning by adding a second cleaning company, and is cleaning touch points at entry points and desks, but could not confirm whether the sites have been deeply cleaned or are going to be.
Another person, who was worried concerns would be "brushed under the carpet" said: "If they can’t provide proper tools for cleanliness, then it is time they sorted working from home."
However, staff "who can do their role from home are already doing so".
An EE spokesperson said: "Our priorities are to help our customers stay connected and to keep our colleagues safe.
"They are coming in to work only if they’re healthy and able to do so.
"We have introduced safety measures in our contact centres and are closely following guidance from Public Health England on cleaning, social distancing and safeguarding our people.
"We’re also enabling home working, where possible, and making progress on that every day."
The Northern Echo previously reported on concerns of sales and debt collection staff within the company, who did not see why their roles were essential.
The government has now clarified engineers and those essential to the service, including relevant call centre support staff, are classified as key workers but sales and debt collection teams in call centres are not.
The EE spokesperson added: "Our contact centre staff are designated as key workers by the government because of their vital role in keeping the country connected.
"There has been no outbound sales calls for several weeks as we have suspended proactive sales activity to ensure we can help customers who need us with critical queries, faults or upgrade requests."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Everything Everywhere Limited, trading as EE, is a mobile network operator and internet service provider company headquartered in Hatfield, United Kingdom.
Published: Tuesday, April 21, 2020
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