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Northern Ireland man who quit Domino's Pizza job over bug fears brands firm reckless


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Firms across Northern Ireland have introduced strict social distancing rules since the start of the outbreak

Firms across Northern Ireland have introduced strict social distancing rules since the start of the outbreak

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Firms across Northern Ireland have introduced strict social distancing rules since the start of the outbreak

A man who worked at a local branch of Domino's Pizza has told how he left his job because of fears over a lack of social distancing measures.

The staff member said some precautions had been taken at the branch where he worked, including making it a delivery-only operation to prevent people coming into the building.

Plastic screens were also hung from the ceiling to divide areas of the shop.

However, he said these measures did not go far enough because the busy premises had "too many bodies and not enough floor space to maintain social distancing".

"Domino's Pizza, as far as I'm aware, is the last big-name food chain still open during the coronavirus crisis," said the former employee, who did not wish to be identified.

"As a result, trade is much busier than normal as paying customers have limited options as an alternative to cooking.

Between 6pm and 9pm employees in the store are constantly on top of each other, not to mention the transmission risk on surfaces, door handles and shared tools and utensils Former Domino's Pizza worker

"This means that the shop is very busy, to the extent that online orders have to be switched off at the height of a busy tea time rush so as not to swamp the already overworked staff members.

"Between 6pm and 9pm employees in the store are constantly on top of each other, not to mention the transmission risk on surfaces, door handles and shared tools and utensils."

The former employee branded the decision to keep trading "reckless" and said staff were concerned for their families.

He added: "This is highlighted by the fact one employee is considering moving out of her parents' house at short notice during the health crisis to protect her father, who has been advised by his doctor to isolate himself for 12 weeks.

"I'm speaking about one store, but this is not a standalone issue. There are 31 Domino's stores in Northern Ireland and more than 1,000 across the UK, with at least 30 to 40 employees in each."

A company spokesperson said the firm was "fully compliant with social distancing rules outlined by local authorities".

"The health and safety of our colleagues and customers is paramount," he added.

Under health and safety at work legislation, local councils have enforcement responsibilities for a number of premises, including restaurants and takeaway food shops.

Powers to close premises fall under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020.

These regulations set out the requirements to close specific types of premises and businesses during the emergency.

Domino's has also denied sacking staff for raising concerns about health and safety during the crisis.

Angharad Maddocks claimed at the start of the month that she was sacked from a branch in Llanelli, Wales, after complaining that social distancing rules were not being followed by the company.

She is also reported to have raised concerns about a lack of personal protective equipment and hand sanitiser.

The BBC reported that several staff there made similar complaints to a member of the Welsh Assembly.

Belfast Telegraph