A shocking report from PIRC. Does anyone really believe that no shop workers in major UK supermarkets caught Covid while at work?
It is surely clear that thousands of workers caught Covid at their workplace (and many died) but hardly any UK company is reporting on this.
How can we learn best practices if this information is not gathered and disclosed? Surely this is also a financial and reputational risk to investors in these companies if widows/widowers and orphans sue the employer?
Check out key findings:
• Of the top 10 largest private sector employers listed on the UK stock exchange, only 10 Covid-19 workforce fatalities have been disclosed in their annual reports.
• These companies have a combined global workforce of over 2 million people, including those working in high-risk jobs during the pandemic such as in supermarkets, food factories, catering, transport, and logistics.
• 8 of the 10 largest employers did not disclose any Covid-19 related fatalities or cases among their workforce in their annual report: Tesco, HSBC, Royal Mail, Unilever, Sainsbury, WPP, BT Group, and GlaxoSmithKline.
• Across all FTSE100 companies, only 18 Covid-19 workforce fatalities were disclosed out of a total global workforce of 4.5 million people. The 18 fatalities were reported by 5 companies: Associated British Foods, BP, Compass, Polymetal International, and Shell.
• Only 4 companies disclosed the number of Covid-19 cases among their workforce, including 3 global mining companies: Antofagasta, BHP, and Polymetal International – with 1186, 486 and 1,451 workforce cases respectively.
• The fourth company, Spirax-Sarco Engineering, reported an employee case rate of approximately 3.7% in 2020, of which it says the majority occurred in Q4. The company also said it has established that over 85% were not workplace related. This suggests at least 250 potential workplace cases.
• Of the 92% of companies who disclosed no data, the vast majority provided no explanation for why this data was not provided.
I asked the checkout staff at by local supermarket about how many of their colleagues got COVID-19 and they just did n't know. It seemed no one got sick. I was surprised by that. Usually, if someone got COVID, news would spread through the workforce.
Secondly, we have two sets of workers. Those who have been able to keep safe by working from home and those who have had to go into work as they are key workers.
Also, I don't think COVID deaths is a valid metric. It is much useful to know how many staff got COVID. We need to know how COVID safe their workplace is. A company employing more older staff, may have more fatalities, then one employing younger staff.
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