Workers at a Maitland based telecommunications company have accused it of risking their lives by ignoring Covid-19 protocols. Picture sourced from Caipta
Workers at a Maitland based telecommunications company have accused it of risking their lives by ignoring Covid-19 protocols. Picture sourced from Caipta

Company forces us not to reveal when testing positive for Covid-19 – worker

By Velani Ludidi Time of article published Jul 28, 2021

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Cape Town - Workers at a Maitland-based telecommunications company have accused it of risking their lives by ignoring Covid-19 protocols.

The workers, who spoke anonymously fearing victimisation, said one of their managers recently died of Covid-19 and they only found out from her WhatsApp status on the day of her death that she was infected. She had been working with them at their offices and they claim they were not told to isolate themselves nor was the office disinfected.

Now, two more managers are reportedly also positive and the workers are worried.

“People are forced to sign non-disclosure agreements when they test positive for Covid-19 here and we only find out either after they died or through their social media pages,” claimed one worker.

“If health officials were to visit this building unannounced, they would see that we are at risk of getting infected and passing it to one another because we are squashed in one place by people who prioritise profit over our lives.”

She said that even with the taxi violence affecting them, the company did not make any provisions for them.

“They did not allow us to work from home despite the dangers the taxi violence posed on our lives. Labour laws are ignored here and if you stand up for yourself you either get fired or made to resign. We have no unions to fight for us.”

Capita operates in the UK, Europe, India and South Africa. They have six divisions include software, technology solutions, people solutions, customer management, government services and specialist services. They pride themselves on being committed to being a responsible business in how they operate, serve society, respect their workers and the environment, but these claims by workers paint a different picture.

Capita spokesperson Jessica Walker denied allegations that they force workers to not reveal to their colleagues if they tested positive for the virus.

“As you can appreciate this is a very sensitive situation. We are unable to comment at this stage, as we continue to gather more information.”

“When we are notified that a colleague has tested positive, the colleague is asked to self-isolate. If we then identify any colleagues who have been in direct contact, we will ask them to also isolate. This is in line with government and Capita guidelines.”

Walker added that since the taxi violence began they have further allowed home working where possible.

“Due to the nature of some of the work we carry out, and the systems we use, we are unable to move all our colleagues to home working. We have introduced a number of measures to further improve safety and security, these include free transport collection services for employees to take them to the office in addition to the already existing free drop-off services after shift,” she said.

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