Arnold Clark has insisted that staff who experience COVID-19 symptoms are instructed to remain at home after allegations that a senior member of car dealership staff exposed colleagues and customers to the virus by continuing to work.
Angry staff at the AM100 car retail group’s Ford dealership on Pottery Street, Greenock, told the Greenock Telegraph newspaper that an unwell senior colleague was allowed to return to work while awaiting the results of a COVID test which later came back positive.
One member of staff said that there was “a lot of anger” among the facility’s workforce after the individual continued to work, despite having had a test and being told that they looked “ill” and “dreadful” by concerned colleagues.
The newspaper’s sources said that two staff members had a test last week and both were now understood to be self-isolating.
A statement issued to AM by Arnold Clark stated that the wellbeing and safety of its employees was always a priority.
It added: “While we do not comment on personal information relating to our employees, any staff member that does test positive, or experiences symptoms, is instructed to remain at home and follow government guidance.
“Our safety measures in branch, including one-way walkways, desk screens, sanitisation stations and reduced numbers of employees on site, have been in place since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a robust training programme rolled out across the business.
“At Arnold Clark, we lead by example, and across all of our sites our management teams routinely ensure that these measures are followed in order to maintain a safe environment for both customers and employees.”
The alleged incident at Arnold Clark’s Greenock Ford dealership is a stark reminder of the risks to both public health and trust posed by lapses in COVID-19 safety measures as showrooms in England re-opened their doors to customers, following the nation’s ‘Lockdown 2’ restrictions, today (December 2).
Back in October AM reported that Pendragon’s Evans Halshaw Vauxhall car dealership in Wakefield had been recognised for its rapid and timely co-operation with its local council after eight members of staff tested positive for COVID-19.
At the time Wakefield Council said that all the affected members of staff, and those they had been in close contact with at the joint Vauxhall and Peugeot franchise off Doncaster Road, Wakefield, were self-isolating as a result of the outbreak.
However, the dealership facility was allowed to remain open following a short-term closure in which a deep clean was carried out.
Anna Hartley, Wakefield Council's director of public health, said: "The business is working closely with us, alongside Public Health England and the HSE, and they have acted quickly to put effective measures in place to help limit any further potential spread.”