Campaign to address safety of call centre staff post-lockdown

A new campaign has been launched to ensure call centres are safe for employees as they prepare to return to work.

By Kirstie Topp, Local Democracy Reporter
Friday, 10th July 2020, 10:50 am
The Call Centre Collective campaign was launched this week calling for new rights for workers. Photo by Richard Pohle/WPA Pool/Getty Images
The Call Centre Collective campaign was launched this week calling for new rights for workers. Photo by Richard Pohle/WPA Pool/Getty Images

Call Centre Collective is calling for new rights for workers so that they can ensure their workplaces are safe and able to prevent the further spread of Covid-19.

The Call Centre Collective campaign was launched this week and has been supported by the STUC, Better than Zero, trade unions and call centre workers.

The group states that these rights would include testing for all contact centre workers and for trade union safety reps to inspect workplaces even where there is no organised union presence.

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The campaign has been launched following a report published by Professor Phil Taylor of Strathclyde University, which identified hazards in Scottish call centres in the context of Covid-19.

The report said that workers faced “serious risks” including no or little social distancing, inadequate sanitation, problems with air circulation and hot-desking.

The report went on to say that 90 per cent of workers believed they would transmit Covid-19 to their friends or family.

Regional Secretary of the Communication Workers Union (CWU), Craig Anderson, said: “Call centre workers do a lot of listening in their jobs, but now it’s time that they’re the ones to be listened to.

“Employers and the Scottish Government need to step up to make sure that these workers, many of whom are classed as key workers keeping the country going over the last few months, aren’t putting their health on the line by returning to the workplace.”