Wales

Coronavirus in Wales: Businesses 'flouting rules' on working

Alun Davies Image copyright Labour
Image caption Alun Davies AM said he had been contacted by many concerned constituents

"Robust enforcement" must be taken against employers who are "openly flouting social distancing and lockdown instructions", an assembly member says.

Blaenau Gwent AM Alun Davies wrote to First Minister Mark Drakeford saying prompt action must be taken if the spread of coronavirus is to be stopped.

Many constituents of his have been in touch to say bosses were telling them to turn up for non-essential work.

The Gwent area has seen the highest number of coronavirus cases in Wales.

He cited three examples, including one of a manufacturing company alleged to be ignoring social distancing measures and telling pregnant women previously told to leave work that they should return the following day.

Mr Davies said: "To be candid, I am greatly alarmed at both the number and the nature of the violations that have just been reported to me."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Shops and businesses all over Wales have shut their doors

He continued: "These are, however, likely to be an underestimate as many employees are deeply fearful of repercussions if they were to raise concerns."

Workers who have approached him have asked not to be named because they are afraid they will be sacked.

A second case involved a retailer selling non-essential items still opening and reports of significant customer crowding in the store.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionThe UK government is advising us to stay two metres apart - but what does that look like?

The third was a non-essential manufacturer still requiring staff to attend, with members of staff using communal cleaning areas in close proximity to one another.

The letter added: "In addition to these cases, I have also been informed of organisations which are requiring employees who are self-isolating to use their sick leave allocations, despite the fact that they are following explicit government advice."

The Welsh Government has been asked to comment.

More on this story